The great-grandson of the last living WWII Medal of Honor recipient is graduating Marine Boot Camp.
Cedar Ross, who raised his right hand to join the Corps, has endured thirteen weeks at Parris Island in South Carolina.
A notable attendant at graduation was legendary Marine Hershel “Woody” Williams, who earned the Medal of Honor in the Second World War.
At the ripe age of 97, Williams is the last living Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.
“The chief drill instructor told me, ‘Ross, you’re going to have big shoes to fill,'” Ross told CBS News. “I said, ‘Yes, sir. Thankfully, I wear size 15.'”
Williams claimed he gave Ross simple but effective advice.
“The only advice I think I gave him was to do the very best that he could and then to do a little more,” Williams said.
Williams earned the nation’s highest military award for valor at the Battle for Iwo Jima, when he took out seven heavily fortified Japanese machine gun positions.
Williams, who chose the Marines over the Army due to the “ugly” brown wool Army uniform, owes his life to two Marines who sacrificed their lives for Williams during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
The two men, who covered Williams until the very end and were unknown for decades, were identified as 24-year-old Corporal Warren Harding Bornholz, of New York City, and 20-year-old Private First Class Charles Gilbert Fischer,of Somers, Montana.
When told about the men who covered him, Williams took a somber tone.
“Once I found out that this happened, this Medal of Honor took on a different significance,” he said last year. “I said, from that point on, it does not belong to me. It belongs to them. I wear it in their honor. I keep it shined for them, because there is no greater sacrifice than when someone sacrifices their life for you and me.”
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