For nearly 50 years, two Vietnam vets kept alive a fresh Year's Eve pact

the idea was fresh year’s Eve, 1968. as well as they promised of which if they survived the war as well as made the idea home alive, the two would certainly call each additional every fresh Year’s Eve.

as well as they did. For nearly half a century, Master Sgt. William Cox as well as Sgt. James Hollingsworth checked up on each additional.

although on Sunday, Cox will ring inside fresh Year alone.

His friend “Hollie” died in October. He was 80 years old.

A promise made

Cox as a helicopter door gunner inside Vietnam War.

Cox as well as Hollingsworth flew missions together as helicopter door gunners. On the ground in Vietnam, Hollingsworth helped maintain the choppers. Cox kept track of ammunition.

inside midst of war, their friendship was a refuge.

“Hollie as well as I, we had our antics to relieve the tension,” Cox said. They told each additional things they didn’t tell anyone else.

“Sometimes we would certainly laugh, sometimes we would certainly cry.

“‘You know me better than my family,'” Cox recalls Hollingsworth telling him.

A promise kept

Hollingsworth or “Hollie” moved to Georgia after his tour in Vietnam.

Cox stayed inside Marine Corps, serving 20 years.

Early This particular year, Cox went to Georgia to visit his friend.

the idea was clear there wouldn’t be a fresh Years phone call on the 50th year of their pact.

Hollingsworth was terminally ill as well as asked his battle buddy to deliver the eulogy at his funeral.

Cox in uniform before Hollingworth's funeral.

“After I left his house, I broke down,” Cox recalled. “Not about what he asked me to do, although of which he was going to be checking out of life, as well as I was going to be a part of his departure. although I was obligated.”

A final farewell

In October, Cox fulfilled of which final promise. He gave Hollingsworth’s eulogy as well as then stood vigil beside the coffin.

Cox stands guard at  Hollingsworth's casket.

“I wanted to be with him as long as I could,” he said. “If the idea had been me, he would certainly have been standing there.”

The Marine Corps motto will be “Semper Fidelis,” Latin for “always faithful,” as well as those words resounded as Cox stood by Hollingsworth one last time.

He ended the eulogy which has a phrase the two used to repeat: “Hollie, you keep ’em flying, as well as I’ll keep ’em firing.”

For nearly 50 years, two Vietnam vets kept alive a fresh Year's Eve pact

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