Veteran Keeps Promise of 50 Years He Gave to Marine Colleague in Vietnam
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Veteran Keeps Promise of 50 Years He Gave to Marine Colleague in Vietnam

The Vietnam war represents one of America’s bloodiest fights for freedom. The story of Master Sgt. William H. Cox and First Sgt. James T. Hollingsworth who in 1968 found themselves stuck in a bunker, unsure of whether they would survive another day. The soldiers were trapped in the Marble Mountains of Vietnam, serving their country and putting their lives on the line.

Talking about that terrifying experience was Master Sgt. William H. Cox, who recently engaged in an interview with Greenville News.

As he explained, himself and Hollingsworth could not be sure if they were going to make it through another day, with explosions burning up the area in flames.

“If we survived this attack, or survived Vietnam, we would contact each other every year on New Year’s,” Cox told the Greenville News.

Half a century later, Cox and Hollingsworth managed to get in touch and keep their word. Cox, who’s from South Carolina, and Hollingsworth, from Georgia, reached out to each other and met ever since, and took the time to get in touch every New Years to catch up on life.

Last year, Hollingsworth confessed to Cox he was terminally ill. Once he was made aware of the news, Cox rushed to see his friend in arms, even if it took him 125 miles.

Here is Master Sgt. William H. Cox. at his former friend James "Hollie" Hollingsworths funeral! Hollingsworth became…

Posted by Ronald Ames on Thursday, November 16, 2017

After they met, Hollingsworth asked Cox to promise him something. Actually, he asked that Cox delivered the eulogy at Hollingsworth’s funeral.

“I said, ‘Boy, that’s a rough mission you’re assigning me to there,’ ” Cox said. As the new year kicked off, Cox kept true to his word.

Cox not only attended Hollingsworth’s funeral, he also gave a moving speech. “There’s a bond between Marines that’s different from any other branch of service. We’re like brothers,” Cox told Greenville News.

As far as their service is concerned, Cox repeated one line that kept them alive for such a long time. The two conquered the air at the time, with Hollingsworth piloting, and Cox being the gunner.

“Hollie, you keep ‘em flying, and I’ll keep ‘em firing,” Cox repeated the well-known phrase he often told his buddy while in the sky.

Veterans are the most vulnerable group of servants, deeply neglected in the Obama era. We even shared the story of a veteran who was so alone in this world, that no one came to mourn him when he died.

On Dec. 12, Navy veteran Jerry Wayne Pino, age 70, died alone in Long Beach, Mississippi. His military history remains undisclosed to this day.

Sadly, no living family was there to send him off properly.

“No one stepped forward; he just didn’t have any family,” said Cathy Warden, who works at the funeral home.

Unsure of what to do, Warden consulted with her colleague, Eva Boomer, and the two thought of a way to have the veteran sent off appropriately. “Something had to be done with respect,” Warden said. “We had to give him what he deserved. Nobody should go alone.”

Teens step forward to serve as pallbearers for a Vietnam Veteran who died with no family or friends in Long Beach, Mississippi.

Posted by Albert Crepeau on Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Boomer has also served the military and knows the veteran community well. She asked a few boys at the Long Beach High School if they would consider serving as pallbearers, while Warden called her teenage son, Bryce, and asked him to invite a couple of his own friends.

It only took minutes for six young men to carry out the veteran’s casket and bury him in a way he deserves to be buried in.

Funerals are never easy on a person, but when it comes to being there for someone who selflessly served this country, and didn’ have anyone else to take care of him- now that’s when we, as Americans, need to step up our game.

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