Retired Marine Master Sergeant William H. Cox, 83, made a promise nearly 50 years ago to fellow retired Marine First Sergeant James ‘Hollie’ Hollingsworth, 80, while they served together in the Vietnam War.
During the war, the men survived a harrowing New Years’ Eve mortar strike by the Vietnamese Army.
On that day, they promised that if they each survived the barrage, they would meet together each subsequent New Years Eve.
Nearly five decades later, the two men still kept their promise.
Per Daily Mail:
Earlier this year, Cox traveled from Piedmont, South Carolina, to see Hollingsworth, 80, in Hephzibah, Georgia.
The 83-year-old made the trip so that he could say goodbye to his dear friend who was dying.
Although the two men were strangers when they first met in the North Vietnam bunker, they enjoyed a lifetime of friendship following the war.
Hollingsworth however grew ill, making his fellow soldier and friend promise one more thing before his passing:
He asked him to stand guard over his casket and deliver the eulogy at his funeral, to which Cox accepted.
— Advertisement —
‘I said, “Boy, that’s a rough mission you’re assigning me to there,”‘ Cox told Greenvilleonline.com.
Cox, wearing his dress blues, stood alongside the casket of his companion and fulfilled that promise:
Cox, who served in the Marine helicopter squadron VMO-2 with Hollingsworth, made sure to keep his final promise when the time came months later.
He also delivered a heartfelt eulogy for Hollingsworth – whom he flew over 200 combat missions with during their time in the Marines.