Dear Kneeling Athletes: You Could Learn Something from Woody Williams

Dear Kneeling Athletes: You Could Learn Something from Woody Williams

Dear Kneeling Athletes: You Could Learn Something from Woody Williams

With all of the NFL shenanigans over the course of the season, it is no wonder why some have decided to boycott Super Bowl LII. We’ve had athletes “standing” with Colin Kaepernick (which was a laugh), players sitting out the National Anthem and even kids at their own school sporting events taking a knee. It was the “cool” thing to do.

We could go on about the idiocy of the NFL and some of the players that are part of the organization but honestly, there was a shining glimmer of hope as the Big Game kicked off yesterday. His name is Hershel “Woody” Williams, 94 year-old Medal of Honor Recipient and Marine Corps Veteran.

To be honored in this way, it’s just almost like a miracle. It really is because you don’t ever dream or think that this kind of a thing could happen to you, and then all of a sudden you’re it. It’s so far-fetched and such a tremendous honor to be the 52nd person to flip that. I hope I’m serving a purpose and to influence and encourage people to serve each other.I hope we can maybe raise the bar a little bit of how important it is that we respect our country, that we respect our flag, that we remember and respect and pay tribute and honor to those who never got to come home.-Woody Williams

Williams is the only living Medal of Honor recipient from World War II and he recently had a book written about his life entitled, The Flamethrower. He’s’ the real deal.

Williams tried to join the Marine Corps right after the attack of Pearl Harbor but his mother refused to sign the papers to let him in underage. When he was 18, he attempted to join on his own, but being only 5-foot-6, the recruiters rejected him; he was two inches shy of the minimum height requirement. By May of 1943, the Marines needed good men willing to fight and they eased those standards, and Williams became a Marine. Williams struggled with PTSD until 1967, when he found God. he says the Medal of Honor gave him the extra incentive to live his best life possible.

“I was only doing what was expected of me”, said Williams of his experience at the battle of Iwo Jima. “All of a sudden there’s Old Glory and it lifted the spirits of everybody. We became more determined than ever we would win this thing.”

“I no longer just represented me. I now represented the Marines who protected me, Marines who sacrificed their lives doing that… If I had written that recommendation for the Medal of Honor—which I didn’t, my commanding officer did—I would have never used the word ‘alone.’ I sort of resent that word in my citation. It says, ‘He went forward alone.’ That’s not correct. Four Marines were protecting me, and two of them were killed while they did it. So I have said from the very beginning that it does not belong to me. It belongs to them.” –Woody Williams

And there you have it. From the greatest generation. A true patriot. A true story of bravery and sacrifice and living for something beyond oneself-in hopes of something greater. So while some players will continue to take a knee and sit things out and while we boycott the NFL for their decision to let them do so, Hershel Williams still shows up to The Super Bowl to toss the coin. Why? Because he has hope. Because he has reverence. Because despite the lack of respect shown for our country and our colors, he still honors those who paid the ultimate price. I guarantee these players have never seen their buddy incinerated, decapitated or shot but they will still continue to make more money to fill their closets with shoes and take a knee. It’s okay, Colin and Marshawn, because a Medal of Honor recipient went before you and your fellow teammates to do the unimaginable. And although he did the unimaginable, to this day, at 94 years-old, he maintains humility and hope-a great contrast to the “hopelessness” and sheer ego that has been thrown around in the NFL, around Hollywood, with our big government politicians and in the every day lives of butt-hurt feminists, college kids and overgrown children who still think a free lunch is in order.

So, from all of us-thank you, Woody Williams for being hopeful and offering us some optimism. Semper Fi, Marine.

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