On episode 13 of The WV Podcast, our Famous West Virginian is Woody Williams, and we have a great interview with Sara Price-Fortney, the 72nd West Virginia State president of the Jaycees.
Welcome to The WV Podcast, West Virginia’s Podcast. This show features the great state of West Virginia and stories of the amazing people who make it such a wonderful place to live. Your hosts are Jeff & Dee Holbrook. Let’s tear down the negative hillbilly stereotype that has been assigned to us by the national media. Let’s tell our own story.
Maker Of The Rain, our theme music, was composed and performed by Tonya Kouns Holbrook, a lifelong West Virginia resident.
Welcome to Episode 13 of The WV Podcast.
Talking about our 32nd wedding anniversary and our trip to see the movie Spectre, and dinner at Graziano’s, 33 years after our Graziano’s pizza when we first went to lunch together in 1982.
Francesco Graziano moved to New York City in 1960, and after trying to get started there, found success in Dunbar, WV with a real New York Style pizza place. Now his grandson, Philip makes us the same pizza we got 33 years ago. Excellent!!
World War II Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams was born October 2, 1923, in Fairmont. At 17, he dropped out of high school and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. After his 18th birthday, Williams sought to enlist in the Marine Corps but was rejected because at five feet six inches tall, he did not meet the height requirement. In May 1943, Williams enlisted after the height requirement was changed. Assigned to the Third Marine Division, he first experienced combat against the Japanese at Guam in the summer of 1944.
In February and March 1945, Williams distinguished himself during the Battle of Iwo Jima. On February 23, Williams neutralized seven concrete pillboxes from which came devastating machine gun fire. Aided by four riflemen who provided cover, Williams prepared demolition charges and destroyed one position after the other in a four-hour period. This act of heroism earned Williams the Medal of Honor. On March 6, he suffered a shrapnel wound, which earned him a Purple Heart. On October 5, 1945, President Truman awarded Williams the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House.
After his discharge in November 1945, Williams served in the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring in 1969. From 1946 to 1979, he was a counselor with the Veterans Administration, working with veterans from West Virginia. In October 1945, he married Ruby Meredith, and they had two daughters. Williams was a lay speaker for the Methodist Church and served as the national chaplain of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. For 30 years, he ran a boarding and training barn for horses in Cabell County. He also remained active, talking to church, youth, and veterans’ groups. In October 2015, the Navy announced that it will name a ship, an expeditionary sea base, after Williams. Today’s featured video tells his story, and will be featured in the show notes for episode 13 of The WV Podcast.
Sara Price-Fortney is the 72nd President of the West Virginia Jaycees. Our conversations gives all the info on what the Jaycees are all about, how you can help your community and get personal development all at the same time!
Sara’s Cell: 304-784-4259
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Let’s Tell Our Own Story.