Hershel “Woody” Williams was born on a dairy farm in 1923 in Quiet Dell, West Virginia. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in the Battle of Iwo Jima with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division. During the battle, Mr. Williams displayed “valiant devotion to duty” and service above self as he “enabled his company to reach its objective”. Mr. Williams’ actions, commitment to his fellow service members, and heroism were recognized on October 5, 1945, when he received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Truman at the White House.
The Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation was formed in 2010 and is a charitable 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that pursues the vision of Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams. Woody realized that when a loved one made the ultimate sacrifice in the military, the loss was to the entire family, relatives and children. The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument project thus begun as a way to acknowledge and thank Gold Star families for their enduring sacrifice while insuring that their fallen Heroes shall never be forgotten.
As an organization, The Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation strives everyday to honor and recognize Gold Star Families and their fallen Heroes. Gold Star Families are families who have lost a loved one in service to our country. Our mission is to raise awareness about Gold Star Families, and educate the community about these sacrifices, reminding us all that freedom has not been and is not free. Our main initiatives include building Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments across the United States, offering scholarships to Gold Star Children, and sponsoring outreach programs and events.