Iwo Jima Survivors Honored in Wichita Falls

Survivors of the battle of Iwo Jima are in Wichita Falls for the next few days.

The heroes are here for 'The Reunion of the Iwo Jima Survivors Association of Texas'.

The event marks the 66th anniversary of the historic battle.

In 1945 nearly 7,000 Americans were killed in that battle. Nearly 19,000 others were wounded.

Events are planned all weekend to help honor the veterans.

A giant USO Show Friday at 6:30pm with Kay-Lynn Lyon, Mistress of Ceremonies, will feature The Dallas Tap Dazzlers, world famous senior citizen performers for their 21th year. Dr. Beamon plus Eastfield College Dancers will perform at the $25 per person event. The "Mad Medics" dance will follow a meal on Friday evening. Several survivors of the USS Indianapolis that delivered the Atomic Bomb and was the last U.S. Ship to be sunk by the enemy, will be at the reunion.

Retired Navy Commander Denis Moody and family will conduct the Saturday morning Flag Raising Reenactment at 10am, the 19th with Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams of West Virginia the "Special Guest of Honor" to narrate. This free event is open to the public. A "Missing Man" flyover of the hotel is set for 3pm Saturday, by The Texas Twisters, a T-34 formation flying group from Ft. Worth. Taps will be played by Bruce Hale, son of WW-II Bugler, David Hale. This reunion is to remember the 8-square mile volcanic island in the West Pacific where they battled for 35 days and raised the American Flag on Mt. Suribachi to become the most famous photo in military history.

The All Forces Dinner Saturday evening at 6:30pm in the Holiday Inn Ballroom will require a $25 ticket available daily at the reservation desk. Keynote speaker will be Brent Casey, Desert Shield & Desert Storm Combat Medic who is a PhD candidate at Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky. He will be introduced by his proud Grandfather, "Woody" Williams who was presented his MEDAL OF HONOR by President Harry S. Truman in 1945 for his heroic actions on Iwo Jima, and is the last living MOH recipient from Iwo Jima's 27 MOH presentations.

Final event will be a Memorial Service at 9am Sunday the 20th conducted by Sheppard AFB Chaplain Jason Klodnicki. The Flag Folding Ceremony will be conducted by Sheppard Air Force Base 1st Sgts. Council.

Jack Lavy & his volunteer Coordinators of the Wichita Falls Reunion stated that "The Friday USO Show and Saturday Banquet require $25 tickets each, but other activities are free." Founder of this group, Cy Young of Bowie, TX. states that the battle for Iwo Jima proved that "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue!"

A special "meet & greet" invitation to the public will be Saturday afternoon when everyone can visit with these "Hero's of WW-II" in the Holiday Inn By The Falls lobby from 1:30 to 3 pm.