83-Year-Old Veteran Keeps Promise He Made to Fellow Marine in Vietnam War Bunker

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Wow! Talk about honor, self and sacrifice. This is what a ‘Band of Brothers’ is all about! This is what it means to be a Marine, serve our country and keep your word to a fellow Marine.

In 1968, while the rest of the country was ringing in the new year, Marine Sgt. William H. Cox and Marine First Sgt. James T. Hollingsworth were stuck in a bunker, wondering if they would survive. The two were in the Marble Mountains of Vietnam, fighting for their lives and their country.

Marine Cox and Marine Hollingsworth were wondering if they’d make it out of that night alive. If they did, it was no sure thing they’d ever make it home after the fighting.

This line of thinking inspired the two Marine soldiers to make a deal.  “If we survived this attack, or survived Vietnam, we would contact each other every year on New Year’s,” Cox told the Greenville News.

Almost 50 years later, Cox and Hollingsworth kept their Marine promises. Cox, of South Carolina, and Hollingsworth, of Georgia, called, met, or otherwise contacted each other every New Year to discuss their lives and how far they’ve come.

Last year, Hollingsworth told Cox he was terminally ill. When he heard the news, Cox traveled 125 miles to see his Marine friend.

When he got there, Hollingsworth asked Cox to make another promise. Cox gave Hollingsworth his word that he’d deliver the eulogy at Hollingsworth’s funeral.

“I said, ‘Boy, that’s a rough mission you’re assigning me to there,’ ” Cox said. Earlier this year, he kept his promise to his long-time friend.

Cox stood guard at Hollingsworth’s casket, and told a room of friends and family of the bond the two of them shared. “There’s a bond between Marines that’s different from any other branch of service. We’re like brothers,” Cox told Greenville News.

When the two were serving, Cox would repeat the same line every time they took to the skies. Hollingsworth was the pilot and Cox was the gunner.

Decades later, at Hollingsworth’s funeral, Cox ended his eulogy with the sentence he’d already said to his friend a hundred times. “Hollie, you keep ‘em flying, and I’ll keep ‘em firing.”

The impact veterans have on the country and community should never be forgotten.

In another story earlier this year, one veteran died with no one left to mourn him.

No family members or friends claimed his body while it lay at Riemann Family Funeral Homes for several weeks. “No one stepped forward; he just didn’t have any family,” said Cathy Warden, a worker at the funeral home.

Discussing what they would do about the situation, Warden spoke with her colleague, Eva Boomer, and they decided something needed to be done to give the veteran an appropriate send off. “Something had to be done with respect,” Warden said. “We had to give him what he deserved. Nobody should go alone.”

Boomer is a military veteran herself, and she thought a few boys at the Long Beach High School would consider serving as pallbearers. So Warden called her teenage son, Bryce, and asked him to contact a few of his friends.

Within a matter of minutes, there were six young men volunteering to carry a stranger’s casket and stand in respect as he was buried. They all knew it was what they needed to do.

While these funerals were different in many ways, they show the impact veterans have on the lives of millions. Even when we don’t know them personally, we should honor their service and commitment to our country.

Ron Ames then posted this on Facebook:

 We now see athletes who are in excellent shape who kneel down during our National Anthem! All I can say is “Shame” on all of you who do so, you don’t deserve to be called an “American” or even play an “American” sport!

To NFL Oakland Raiders running back, Marshawn Lynch and all the other NFL players who are still protesting, when will you learn that to kneel during the national anthem is nothing more an act of disrespect. You are disrespecting all those veterans who have served and disrespecting those in the military that continue to serve and defend our nation, our national anthem and our flag. Many of those soldiers gave their lives defending our freedom, so that we could all live today in a nation we can be proud of.

The NFL players should realize that what they are doing is not only resulting in lower ratings for NFL, but less ticket sales and less seats filled in their stadiums. When are they going to wake up and realize it’s those ticket sales and seats that help fund their salaries in the first place.

If the NFL didn’t think their players antics have hurt them, they wouldn’t be pushing all these ads now showing support of veterans. If the NFL truly wanted to show support the owners would tell their players to stop kneeling on THEIR time!

God Bless these soldiers! And God Bless Master Sgt. William H. Cox for traveling over 125 miles to keep his word to a fellow ‘brother’, and Marine James “Hollie” Hollingsworth.

To all those who continue to serve and have served ….thank you for your service!



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