Woody Williams teaches Girl Scouts about patriotism

September 24, 2018

Medal of Honor recipient Hershel 'Woody' Williamson speaks with girl scouts about patriotism on Thursday at Community of Grace United Methodist Church in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Girl Scout Troop 1774 was given a lesson in patriotism by Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams Thursday evening at Community Grace United Methodist Church, as part of their work on their patriotism badges.

“I hope they realize just being an American is a high privilege and that we all have a responsibility to our country in some way,” Williams said. “We can’t all be in the military but we can do something to assist others, which in turn helps America. That’s how we exist; we help each other.”

Troop 1774 leader Linda Beaver said the

troop of Daisies, Brownies and Juniors were lucky to get to meet Williams as a Medal of Honor recipient, and said Williams’ lesson was digestible by even the youngest members of the troop.

In addition to Williams’s lesson in patriotism, to earn their patriotism badge, each scout memorized the Pledge of Allegiance and learned some history about the American flag.

“We hope they gain a respect for the flag and learn how to be leaders,” Beaver said. “That’s what we want them to be, the next leaders of tomorrow.”

Williams said it is important to teach young people about what patriotism means because things like the American Creed, which he presented during his talk, are no longer taught in schools.

“We’re not teaching it so where are they going to get it?” Williams said. “I have said many times we only know what we are taught, but if we don’t’ teach them, then how are they going to learn it? So it’s so important to me that we get this love of country, patriotism, responsibility back in our schools. If we don’t, we’re going to lose our people.”

In addition to the American Creed, Williams taught the girls some lessons in patriotism taught to him by his grade school teacher, told them about the Medal of Honor, and advised them to make their beds every morning.

Williams gave each scout a gold dollar, and the troop gifted him with a Girl Scouts pin and a t-shirt that said “I’m man enough to be a Girl Scout.”

Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook at @megosborneHD.

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