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Upstate Vietnam vet makes good on final promise to fellow Marine - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Upstate Vietnam vet makes good on final promise to fellow Marine, stands guard at casket

William Cox stands guard at casket for friend and fellow veteran. (Source: Bill Cox/Facebook) William Cox stands guard at casket for friend and fellow veteran. (Source: Bill Cox/Facebook)
Photo of William Cox (FOX Carolina/11/17/17) Photo of William Cox (FOX Carolina/11/17/17)
Photo of William Cox (FOX Carolina/11/17/17) Photo of William Cox (FOX Carolina/11/17/17)
Photo of William Cox (FOX Carolina/11/17/17) Photo of William Cox (FOX Carolina/11/17/17)
William Cox (Source: Jimmy Hollingsworth) William Cox (Source: Jimmy Hollingsworth)
PIEDMONT, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An Upstate native and Vietnam War veteran made good on a promise to a fellow Marine at his funeral and a photo from the service is going viral.

Master Sergeant William Cox served in the Marines and during a Vietnam War battle at Marble Mountain on New Year's Eve, he didn't think he would make it out alive. Cox and First Sergeant James Hollingsworth, both door gunners, made a pact that night that if they survived the heavy fire, they would talk every year on New Year's Eve.

"People ask me, haven't you forgot about the promise? I say no, I haven't forgot about it," said Sgt. Cox, "A promise made is a promise kept, especially to another Marine."

Both veterans lived to serve 20 years in the Corps and kept their promise to one another.

New Year's Eve 2017 will be the first time they don't have their annual talk. Hollingsworth died after an illness earlier in the year, according to his family.

"He said, Willie I got one more thing I want you to promise me," said Cox, "He said you know me better than my own family and I want you to do my eulogy. That was a rough mission"

Before his death, the Marine asked Cox to stand guard at his casket and deliver his eulogy.

Cox made good on one last promise to Hollingsworth. His son, Bill Cox, shared a photo from his vigil at the casket that has garnered thousands of shares and reactions on Facebook.

"I said, those silver wings that we wear, you'll be trading yours in heaven for your golden wings and I know when I show up, you'll be waiting at the gate for me to trade my wings too," said Cox, "When I finished the eulogy, I closed out with, Hollie, you keep 'em flying and I'll keep 'em firing."

Bill Cox said his father uses a cane most of the time but insisted on not doing so during the vigil.

Gov. Henry McMaster shared a photo of Cox on Facebook Thursday and said, "Veterans like him make me proud to be a South Carolinian and an American."

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