83-year-old Vietnam War veteran stands guard over fellow Marine's casket in Dress Blues to keep the promise

KwakMin-jung 기자() | Posted : November 18, 2017, 15:44 | Updated : November 18, 2017, 15:44

Retired Marine Master Sgt. William H. Cox solemnly stood guard over his fellow Vietnam War veteran retired Marine First Sgt. James Hollingsworth in Dress Blues to keep his one last promise. As the United States Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis, Cox was always faithful to Hollingsworth until his end. The friends stayed in touch with each other to keep the promise they made 50 years ago during Vietnam War. [Courtesy of Bill Cox / Facebook]

83-year-old retired Marine Master Sgt. William H. Cox stood solemnly in Dress Blues next to the casket of his fellow Vietnam War veteran, Retire Marine First Sgt. James "Hollie" Hollingsworth, to keep his promise. Cox and Hollingsworth built their lifelong friendship during the Vietnam War in a bunker on Marble Mountain. 

They flew over 200 helicopter missions together during the war. They fought alongside each other in hails of bullets 50 years ago on New Year's Eve. They made a promise to contact each other every New Year's Eve if they made out of the bunker and survive the war. 

Cox and Hollingsworth kept the promise for 50 years. After every phone conversation they had, Cox would end the call with "Hollie, you keep 'em flying, and I'll keep 'em firing."

Cox flew over to Hephzibah, Georgia, in July this year to see Hollingsworth from his home in Piedmont, South Carolina, to say one last goodbye before his war buddy pass away. Hollingsworth asked Cox to make one last promise. He asked Cox if he can give the eulogy and stand guard at his funeral. Cox told Hollingsworth, "Boy, that's a rough mission you're assigning me to there."

Cox kept his promise when Hollingsworth passed away in October. He was 80 years old. 

The retired Marine Master Sgt. dressed up in Blues and stood guard over his friend's casket during the funeral on October 20. Cox delivered a moving eulogy in Hollingsworth's honor. He ended his sentence with "Hollie, you keep 'em flying, and I'll keep 'em firing." 

Cox kept his last promise to his friend as the United States Marine Corps' motto says Semper Fidelis, "Always faithful". 

The moving photo of 83-year-old Marine keeping his last promise with his war buddy was shared by sons of both Cox and Hollingsworth on Facebook. Since the photo was shared, it garnered much attention from people. 

Kwak, Min Jung = abiel@ajunews.com
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