VA honor a fitting tribute

Published 7:53 am Thursday, September 13, 2018

The VA Medical Center in Huntington serves veterans throughout West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and parts of Ohio, including Lawrence County.

And it is only fitting that such a facility be dedicated to honor someone who has also dedicated his life to advocating for veterans.

And this became the case on Sunday, when a ceremony took place to rename the hospital in honor of Herschel “Woody” Williams, a World War II veteran who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the battle of Iwo Jima.

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Since receiving the award, Williams has been known as a prolific speaker for veterans’ causes, appearing at an endless number events and has shown no signs of slowing down at the age of 94.

In addition to his advocacy for veterans, Williams has always taken the time to engage the youth of each generation, hoping his story will inspire them to serve in one form or another.
This could be last year, when he visited Lawrence County, making an appearance to talk to students of the first classes of the Tri-State STEM+M Early College High School.

As one of the oldest surviving Medal of Honor recipients, Williams has also acted as a representative for the World War II generation, as was the case when he appeared at the Super Bowl earlier this year with a group of veterans and handled the pregame coin toss.
As always, we thank Williams for his service, both on the battlefield and in the decades of civilian work he has taken part in. Sunday’s honor is one that is well-deserved.

As for the VA, we would like to remind readers that on Tuesday, the facility’s Community Resource & Referral Center located at 624 9thStreet, Huntington, will host Stand Down Tuesday.

This event, which takes place annually, allows homeless Veterans and those at risk for homelessness to access free services provided through the VA and community partners, including basic medical screenings, haircuts, job and housing referrals, as well as information about benefits and assistance programs. A hot meal and musical entertainment will be provided.

We encourage everyone to spread the word of this event and to help anyone they know who could benefit from it to attend.