POINT PLEASANT, WV (WOWK) — For many, Hershel “Woody” Williams will be remembered as a national hero. For those who knew Williams personally, like Cpt. James McCormick, Woody was so much more.

McCormick, a highly decorated war veteran himself, first met Williams ten years ago when he received the Citizen Service Before Self Award.

“And Woody was there. He hung the medal around my neck,” McCormick said. “And I’ll never forget him saying, ‘It’s a small medal, but for those that wear it, you have a commitment that is for a lifetime.'”

Ever since then, McCormick said Williams played an important role in his life.

“I loved him, you know, and still love him like a father. And his memory, his example that he has left us, you know, what else can you say about a guy like that.”

What he’ll remember most about Williams is his laugh.

“His laugh filled the room,” McCormick said.

He’ll also remember all of the life lessons Williams has taught him.

“So, I grew up a lot with Woody and learned to ignore the negativity and walk in the light with him,” McCormick said. “That was a big, big deal for him … He had a deep profound respect for God and country.”

In the end, McCormick is comforted knowing that Williams’ faith was so strong.

“He was not afraid to go,” but rest assured, “America is going to miss Woody Williams. I know I’m going to.”

McCormick was by Williams’ side last night during his final moments. Even though it was a hard goodbye, McCormick said he’s left with so many great memories.