BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. — Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams had no idea he was going to be chosen to flip the coin at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis next weekend.
Williams, the only living Medal of Honor recipient from West Virginia, knew he and 14 other Medal of Honor recipients were going to be recognized at the game but then he got a call Tuesday telling him the NFL would like for him to flip the coin.
“That came as a complete surprise,” the 94-year-old Williams, a hero at the Battle of Iwo Jima, told MetroNews Thursday evening.
He said no one has told him but he has a hunch as to why he was chosen.
“I’ll be the only World War II guy there, the rest of them are Vietnam and Afghanistan, and I’ll be the oldest guy there,” he said.
Williams, who spends most of his time now traveling the country supporting the building of Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments for families that have lost loved ones in battle, said he was asked to flip a coin at a game between Marshall and Maryland a few years ago but the referee must not have known about it. He flipped the coin just before Williams reached midfield.
Williams wouldn’t say who he is cheering for in the Feb. 4 big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.
“I’m going to be neutral. I have to be neutral. I’m going to flip the coin–I can’t be for either side,” he said.
Williams will travel to South Carolina Friday for a dedication scheduled for one of the monuments. He was at the state capitol earlier this week meeting with lawmakers for support to place one of the monuments at the state capitol complex.