Soldiers from H Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) were privileged to meet one of their own, former Sgt. Luell L. Woods, during Honor Flight Mississippi, Apr. 23.
The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization which transports living veterans to their respective memorials in Washington, D.C.
“It can’t be put into words what this experience means to me,” said Woods, who served in World War II while assigned to H Company. “This, right here, has always been a dream of mine, and I consider it a real honor to be here.”
Pvt. Brennan Cameron said he was humbled to meet him.
“It’s not every day that you meet someone who served in World War II and also served in your unit,” said Cameron, infantryman, H Company. “I think it is great that they get this chance to visit their memorial. This landmark is our way of saying how proud we are of them for the enduring standard they set for us.”
Cameron escorted Woods through the crowds gathered at the memorial. From time to time, Woods would ask if they could stop as they reached various sites.
“I remember my good buddies from back then,” said Woods, while he stared at the Freedom Wall full of 400 gold stars.
Each star on the Freedom Wall represents 100 servicemembers killed during World War II. Knowing that one of those stars could have been placed for him, Woods said he does not take for granted the fact that he is able to come to the memorial.
“I am happy to get all this support, but I was one of the fortunate ones who made it back,” said Woods. “I had a feeling that I would make it back. I just knew I had to.”
Woods made sure to also share the same encouraging words and values with the current generation of Soldiers.
“He has such an awesome personality,” said Cameron. “He first thanked us for our service, which made me think I should be thanking him. I saw that he has a love for Soldiers and country. I will never forget that.”
Cameron added how special it was to have a person like Woods affiliated with The Old Guard.
“This unit has such a great legacy, and it’s because of people like Woods. He made me want to continue to serve here,” said Cameron. “No matter the generation, The Old Guard represents the Army to the nation and the world.”
As their time came to an end, the veterans from Mississippi gathered for lunch and fellowship.
“I had a great time with all of the Soldiers from The Old Guard,” said Woods. “Many things have changed over the years, but the bond between Soldiers won’t.”