Veteran of the Day graphic created by Kimber Garland for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran, William Henry Highfill. William served during World War II from 1943 to 1946.
William was drafted in 1943 and went to Camp Croft in South Carolina for basic training. He volunteered to be a paratrooper and then spent more time training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Afterward, William was assigned to the 17th Airborne Division as a machine gunner and sent to Europe. William and his unit first stopped and completed more training in England, where he got the chance to visit London on leave. He also joined the regiment’s boxing team. William was then sent to Belgium to help the 101st Airborne in their fight against German troops in Bastogne.
The fighting was heavy in Bastogne, and the temperature was usually below freezing. William and his fellow soldiers slept outside with little shelter during this time. They got about one hot meal every six days. When William was not in combat, he liked to participate in regimental sports such as football, softball and boxing. When the war was over, William boxed a young champion and received a head injury, the only wound besides frostbite he received while in the service. William returned home in 1946 and participated in a military parade in New York City. He earned a Bronze Star for his service.
William attended college and worked in various different fields. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. More of his story can be found at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.38433/.
Thank you for your service, William!
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic designer: Kimber Garland
Fact checker: Jordan Gossett
Editor: Jenna Ford