Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Colonel James A. Williamson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 29, 1862, at Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi. His citation reads:
Led his regiment against a superior force, strongly entrenched, and held his ground when all support had been withdrawn.
Coxswain George Willis (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 22, 1873, on board the U.S.S. Tigress. His citation reads:
Serving on board the U.S.S. Tigress, Willis displayed gallant and meritorious conduct on the night of 22 September 1873 off the coast of Greenland.
Pharmacist’s Mate First Class John Harlan Willis (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 28, 1945, on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Platoon Corpsman serving with the 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during operations against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, February 28, 1945. Constantly imperiled by artillery and mortar fire from strong and mutually supporting pillboxes and caves studding Hill 362 in the enemy's cross-island defenses, Willis resolutely administered first aid to the many marines wounded during the furious close-in fighting until he himself was struck by shrapnel and was ordered back to the battle aid station. Without waiting for official medical release, he quickly returned to his company and, during a savage hand-to-hand enemy counterattack, daringly advanced to the extreme front lines under mortar and sniper fire to aid a marine lying wounded in a shellhole. Completely unmindful of his own danger as the Japanese intensified their attack, Willis calmly continued to administer blood plasma to his patient, promptly returning the first hostile grenade which landed in the shell-hole while he was working and hurling back seven more in quick succession before the ninth one exploded in his hand and instantly killed him. By his great personal valor in saving others at the sacrifice of his own life, he inspired his companions, although terrifically outnumbered, to launch a fiercely determined attack and repulse the enemy force. His exceptional fortitude and courage in the performance of duty reflect the highest credit upon Willis and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
July 3rd started like any other Sunday… Me getting ready for church while listening to The Wife yell at The Kids like a drill sergeant on Parris Island. This was going to be a busy day with church followed by a much anticipated 4th of July (on the 3rd) Pool Party. There we were sitting in the van ready to leave when The Wife walked out… looked at me… and turned around and went back inside. About this time, I wasn’t feeling too great myself. She then sends me a text saying she’s sick, we should stay home. This was great timing, because it gave me the perfect amount of time to text back “Ok”… get The Kids back in the house… and get to the bathroom. The rest of the day was spent with me, Susie and The Wife back in our bed (or in our bathroom) sick. Mary Ruth and Daniel were out in the den feeling fine. When I say “the rest of the day”, I mean we didn’t leave back there until about 8:45 Sunday night. Mary Ruth checked on us a couple of times, but the main thing she did was take care of Daniel. She made him lunch and dinner (PB&J both times, I’m sure… which is exactly what he wanted). Daniel, for his part, sang songs to Mary Ruth (songs he made up on the spot about how much he loves her and how sweet she was being to him). They didn’t even get mad when they found out we weren’t going to the pool party. Them taking care of each other made things a whole lot easier for us and, I’m sure, played a big part in helping us feel better.