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Old 03-08-2018, 08:59 PM   #1
bullhead44
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Default Medal of Honor questions?

My daughter is interviewing Medal of Honor winner Woody Williams tomorrow and needs some questions to ask him. She needs some some good questions to ask him. He was at Iwo Jima on the pacific front. I told her yall would probably have some good questions. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:12 PM   #2
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Don't ask him how he "won" the Medal of Honor.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help. Recipient
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead44 View Post
Thanks for the help. Recipient
Or Awarded
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:23 PM   #5
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Or Awarded
Thank you sir
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:23 PM   #6
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marine ooorah! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hershel_W._Williams
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:23 PM   #7
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Only advice I can give is to NOT use the word “winner”
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:32 PM   #8
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Good on your daughter for doing this. I think the biggest question not to ask is "how many people did you kill?" Yeah, I know, but I've seen this done a lot, and then the interviewer can't understand why the interviewee clams up. I would suggest her asking him about his life before he joined the Marine Corps, and what made him want to join the Marines, rather than the Navy or Army. She could also ask him kind of food or drink he missed the most while away from one (you'd be surprised at how many veterans will tell you mom's home cooking and a glass of cold milk).

Good luck,

Dave
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:39 PM   #9
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I’d want to know his proudest life moment/achievement outside of military life. He may enjoy talking about family or other achievements. Some people don’t wanna be remembered so much for what they did as much as who they were.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:48 PM   #10
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Ask him where his drive and motivation came/comes from.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:58 PM   #11
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I can't help on questions, but what an honor for her to have this opportunity!
We had a guest of honor, also a Marine, speak at a USMC Birthday celebration at work a couple of years back.
I found myself hanging on every word as he told about his boyhood, growing up, lying about his age to sign up early and just a little bit about his experiences in WWII.
The thing that stuck with me the most, was when he said when he returned to Normandy, later in life, it crushed him to see more American flags flying there than he does at home. He asked all of those in attendance, "if you don't already have a flag at your home, please, go out and get one! Fly it day and night, we fought for you to be able to do that!"

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Old 03-08-2018, 10:08 PM   #12
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Wow, what a life event for your your little girl!!!!

Have her break the ice by asking what his favorite battery drill is, then ask him what it was like serving our great country during that war.


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Old 03-08-2018, 10:13 PM   #13
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Tell me about the men you served with.

That is the question I would ask.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double-O-Dave View Post
Good on your daughter for doing this. I think the biggest question not to ask is "how many people did you kill?" Yeah, I know, but I've seen this done a lot, and then the interviewer can't understand why the interviewee clams up. I would suggest her asking him about his life before he joined the Marine Corps, and what made him want to join the Marines, rather than the Navy or Army. She could also ask him kind of food or drink he missed the most while away from one (you'd be surprised at how many veterans will tell you mom's home cooking and a glass of cold milk).

Good luck,

Dave
Thank you sir. Will let her read this one
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:16 PM   #15
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She can ask him about the geography of the island. How much did the volcanic ash and sand affect their ability to maneuver on the beach.

Were Marines able to stay with their original platoons and units after they hit the beach or did everyone get instantly separated and have to pair up with marines that they didn't know?

Had the Marines on ship already been briefed on how fanatical and Die Hard the Japanese soldiers were? Or did they only find out after they engaged them in combat?

Did his ship encounter any Japanese air attacks prior to landing on Iwo Jima? If so could he describe them.

If you tell me how old your daughter is I can probably come up with a lot of good questions. I'm a former Marine.

If she runs out of questions could she ask him high fence or low fence?

Last edited by Chew; 03-08-2018 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgil View Post
I can't help on questions, but what an honor for her to have this opportunity!
We had a guest of honor, also a Marine, speak at a USMC Birthday celebration at work a couple of years back.
I found myself hanging on every word as he told about his boyhood, growing up, lying about his age to sign up early and just a little bit about his experiences in WWII.
The thing that stuck with me the most, was when he said when he returned to Normandy, later in life, it crushed him to see more American flags flying there than he does at home. He asked all of those in attendance, "if you don't already have a flag at your home, please, go out and get one! Fly it day and night, we fought for you to be able to do that!"

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Thank you
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Uncle Saggy View Post
Wow, what a life event for your your little girl!!!!

Have her break the ice by asking what his favorite battery drill is, then ask him what it was like serving our great country during that war.


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Thank you
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outbreaker View Post
Tell me about the men you served with.

That is the question I would ask.
Thank you
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:20 PM   #19
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How did receiving the MOH change his life?
Best parts and worst parts of having the highest award for valor our country can bestow.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chew View Post
She can ask him about the geography of the island. How much did the volcanic ash and sand affect their ability to maneuver on the beach.

Were Marines able to stay with their original platoons and units after they hit the beach or did everyone get instantly separated and have to pair up with marines that they didn't know?

Had the Marines on ship already been briefed on how fanatical and Die Hard the Japanese soldiers were? Or did they only find out after they engaged them in combat?

Did his ship encounter any Japanese air attacks prior to landing on Iwo Jima? If so could he describe them.

If you tell me how old your daughter is I can probably come up with a lot of good questions. I'm a former Marine.

If she runs out of questions could she asked him high fence or low fence?
Thank you sir. She is 17 and loves history just like her dad. She plans on being a history teacher. Thanks for your service
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:23 PM   #21
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I’ve met two men who were awarded the CMOH. If she asks this man to tell her about the men he served with, I doubt there will be a need for questions.

However, I’d ask two questions if needed: 1. What one thing you learned or experienced in your time of service makes you smile to this day? 2. What does the American flag mean to you?
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
How did receiving the MOH change his life?
Best parts and worst parts of having the highest award for valor our country can bestow.
Thanks. She came up with this one earlier.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:28 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=Chew;13239316]She can ask him about the geography of the island. How much did the volcanic ash and sand affect their ability to maneuver on the beach.

Were Marines able to stay with their original platoons and units after they hit the beach or did everyone get instantly separated and have to pair up with marines that they didn't know?

Had the Marines on ship already been briefed on how fanatical and Die Hard the Japanese soldiers were? Or did they only find out after they engaged them in combat?

Did his ship encounter any Japanese air attacks prior to landing on Iwo Jima? If so could he describe them.

If you tell me how old your daughter is I can probably come up with a lot of good questions. I'm a former Marine.

If she runs out of questions could she asked him high fence or low fence?[/QUOTE]

I'm crying over here
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:29 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outbreaker View Post
Tell me about the men you served with.

That is the question I would ask.
Beat me to the punch - but this is the question. Both I met said they agree to speak at events, not about their accounts, but for others.

MSG Roy Benavides said he was no hero but he dang sure served with a bunch of them.

You can buy a hard back book with stories of the CMOH recipients - buy one for her and ask for his autograph. Tell him she wants to be a teacher and would show/share the book with her students.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outbreaker View Post
Tell me about the men you served with.

That is the question I would ask.
This! My Dad quit a defense plant job in WWII to sign up, and joined the Navy thinking that was his best opportunity to see action. He was stationed at Corpus Christie where his base commander found out he was a very good fast pitch softball player. He signed up for every ship that came in to join the fighting, but his base commander blocked every deployment to keep him there to play softball. He knew a lot of men who fought and many who died and felt guilty that he couldn't go while his brothers (literally 3 brothers) fought in the south pacific, continually putting their lives in harms way. Luckily, my Uncles all survived, but my Dad always felt guilty that he didn't fight and so many others fought and died. He used to tell many stories of men who didn't come home alive that he met and worked with during his time in the Navy. He was very proud of the men he served with. Those were the men he said were the real heroes.
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:08 PM   #26
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Not sure what to add, other than cool for her. Good job on you for making sure it happens.


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Old 03-08-2018, 11:34 PM   #27
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Worked with a friend here in Idaho who was awarded the MOH for his service in Korea. He was best known as a "gentle giant". If anyone asked about it (usually a new guy, who didn't know about Dave), he'd get a look in his eyes, kinda hum and say "We lost a lot of good friends there, and go back to work. One of the most modest people to ever have known. Family meant more to him than anything.

Read about David Bleak sometime, if you want to know what a bad *** truly is. A big medic, with no guns, and big hands and a knife!

http://ncojournal.dodlive.mil/tag/st...d-bruce-bleak/

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Old 03-08-2018, 11:58 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coon View Post
This! My Dad quit a defense plant job in WWII to sign up, and joined the Navy thinking that was his best opportunity to see action. He was stationed at Corpus Christie where his base commander found out he was a very good fast pitch softball player. He signed up for every ship that came in to join the fighting, but his base commander blocked every deployment to keep him there to play softball. He knew a lot of men who fought and many who died and felt guilty that he couldn't go while his brothers (literally 3 brothers) fought in the south pacific, continually putting their lives in harms way. Luckily, my Uncles all survived, but my Dad always felt guilty that he didn't fight and so many others fought and died. He used to tell many stories of men who didn't come home alive that he met and worked with during his time in the Navy. He was very proud of the men he served with. Those were the men he said were the real heroes.
Sounds just like my Dad. He joined the Navy in 1943 to see the world. He was stationed in Corpus as an aircraft mechanic and never left Texas. I'm proud he served.

Have your daughter ask him how difficult it was to adapt to a normal civilian life after all he had witnessed.
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:59 PM   #29
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Is this interview for a history project or some type of journalism project? Think that would have an effect on which questions I would ask. Some very good questions on here. I like the ones asking about his life before service and what made him want to join the Marines. Asking him about those he served with is a great question also. If it is a history project, Chew's questions in post 15 would be very good for that (really they are good either way but really strong for history project).
I think I would also ask him if he has ever been back to Iwo, and if 'yes', what were the strongest memories his return brought on?
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:40 AM   #30
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ask him who he looks up to, who made an impression on him, and why
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:47 AM   #31
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Ask him if he would offer any advice to young people who might be smaller than some other folks and not have confidence to try important endeavors. (Since he was originally turned down for enlistment in the Marines due to being too short.)

Also, does he find any irony in the fact that this small Marine accomplished his cited action by wielding a 70-pound flamethrower in four separate trips back and forth for re-charges and back to enemy positions.

How did it feel to see the American flag being raised in the distance on Mt. Subiachi?

What kept you going to keep fighting for five additional weeks of battle, despite taking shrapnel in the leg?

How do you feel about being recognized in your home state of West Virginia for your work on veterans' affairs?
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:37 AM   #32
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These are very humble men. Great men. The Greatest Generation.

Ask this..."What do you think of todays patriotism?"

I was fortunate to meet Francis S. Currey CMH awardee from the Battle of the Bulge. A GI Joe doll was made of this mans likeness. They are super special people.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:47 AM   #33
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Sir, I've been rolling this question around in my head since I first read your original post, and have decided to submit this question for your daughter's consideration...she should ask Mr. Williams what he thinks about the athletes who kneel during the National Anthem.

BTW, I'm a disabled veteran and my response often surprises people when they ask me the same question - my feeling is that this is why I served my country, to allow people their right to show their respect, or lack thereof, to our country. That doesn't mean I like it, but I do recognize their right to act in such a manner.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:00 AM   #34
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I would ask him about serving as chaplain of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for 35 years. What was entailed in that? What did you enjoy about it and what did you not enjoy about it?
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:24 AM   #35
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She should ask: May I have my picture taken with you?

This will be a day she will never forget. To me it would be an honor just to stand next to a Marine who was given the Medal of Honor for his actions. And I am also a former 67 to 69 Marine.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:00 AM   #36
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I used to visit with Roy Benavidez a lot, just sitting on the tailgate of my truck at the park where he liked to jog and walk.

He liked talking about service to his country and about the training he went through to become a Green Beret. He talked about honor and doing one's duty more than anything and I wouldn't be surprised if a WW-II Marine wouldn't want to talk about the same things.

He would also talk about the action that caused him to earn the MOH.

Have her ask him about his Marine Corps training and about being onboard ships and how that was. Was the food on the ships good, what kind of quarters did he have while onboard.

Ask him on what island he first landed when he got to the Pacific Theater and about life there living in tents. Ask him if he knew John Basilone, another MOH winner who was killed on Iwo.

If he wants to talk about Iwo Jima he will.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:41 AM   #37
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Thanks again guys,

This interview is for a college class she is taking. They are constructing a Medal of Honor memorial in Gainesville, and these interviews are going to be used for info in the displays for each of the awardees. April 3rd, there are supposed to be 30+ Medal of Honor winners in town for a ceremony. They have been doing this for about the past 10 years. She is reading these suggestions and told me to say thanks for her.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:32 AM   #38
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How did his service to our country change his outlook on life maybe?
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:19 PM   #39
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Ask about the training prior to the assault.
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