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STATEMENT FROM IDVA DIRECTOR TERRY PRINCE

Press Release - Thursday, June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022 - Today, Governor JB Pritzker requested that all flags be flown at half-staff to honor an American hero, Hershel "Woody" Williams, the nation's last remaining World War II Medal of Honor recipient. Woody demonstrated bravery and service to his country beyond measure as he served in the Battle of Iwo Jima with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division. Woody was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 5, 1945 by President Truman for his, "valiant devotion to duty" and service above self as he "enabled his company to reach its objective."

When Woody returned home, his service to his nation continued as a Veterans Service Representative with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and as the Commandant of the Veterans Home in Barboursville, WV. Woody also founded the Woody Williams Foundation dedicated to supporting Gold Star Families. Illinois is the recipient of his generosity with one of the 103 Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Naperville, IL, and two other planned monuments in Springfield and Great Lakes.

Woody exemplified one of the greatest generations of military men and women and is an example of selfless commitment to others - his fellow men in combat - veterans returning home needing support - veterans needing a home and care - and families who suffer the greatest sacrifice of a loved one. We are grateful for his service and will not forget his heroism and all he gave for this nation.
For more information contact: Maureen Hartigan, 773-590-9848, maureen.hartigan@illinois.gov.

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