Last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient in hospital, family requests prayers for his 'last days'

Hershel 'Woody' Williams, 98, received the medal for his heroism on Iwo Jima

World War II Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woodrow Williams has entered the hospital, and his family is requesting prayers "as he lives out his last days."

Williams, 98, is the last surviving World War II veteran to have received the Medal of Honor. Williams received the award for his heroism during the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Williams' family is at his side in a West Virginia hospital, according to local media.

"At this time, Woody is not accepting visitors and his family appreciates everyone respecting his privacy. As he lives out his last days, we welcome and appreciate any additional prayers lifted up on behalf of Woody and his family," his family said in a statement.

The family did not offer details about Williams' condition.

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Hershel "Woody" Williams (Robert Luffman)

Hershel "Woody" Williams (Robert Luffman)

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Williams received his Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman for his heroic efforts as a flamethrower on Iwo Jima. Williams is credited with destroying multiple Japanese pillboxes and other gun emplacements while virtually unaided and at great danger to himself.

Williams wiped out position after position over the course of four hours, returning to American lines only to refuel his weapon.

Williams last appeared in public on Memorial Day, where he participated in a veterans' event in Huntington, West Virginia. He remarked to local media at the time that the event gave him hope for a resurgence of patriotism in the U.S.

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"I’ve been at this probably 25 to 30 times, but I believe today we had more honor wreaths than we’ve ever had before, and that’s encouraging," Williams told WSAZ. "It gives me encouragement that we’re coming back and that we will again be that United States of America that had so much patriotism and love of country."