Marine Fulfills A Promise To An Old Friend, Keeping Watch One Last Time

November 19, 2017

On New Year's Eve in 1968, two Marines made each other a promise. Five decades later, Master Sgt. William H. Cox made good on one more.

Marine stands guard funeral Vietnam vets

Retired Marines Master Sgt. William H. Cox and First Sgt. James Hollingsworth first met while hiding from rockets and mortars in a bunker in 1968.

Fearing they would not make it out alive, the men – who at the time were strangers – made a pact. The pact being that if they both survived the war, they would contact one another every year on New Year’s Eve for a chat. And they did exactly that for the next five decades.

Earlier this year, a now 83-year-old Cox made the trip from his home in South Carolina to say goodbye to his dying friend, Hollingsworth, in Georgia. It was then that he was asked to make one final promise – to stand guard over his coffin and deliver the eulogy at his funeral.

The final meeting of the pair was photographed by Hollingsworth's son, who posted the photo to Facebook.

"Two great Marines were reunited once again," he wrote in the post. "These two flew over 200 missions on the same Huey in Vietnam. I have always been proud of my father and his service to our Country. Love hearing the stories from his closest friend."

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