We all know that one person who we can depend on for anything. They are our most trustworthy friend, and you can rest assured if they make you a promise, they will follow through, no matter what.
Master Sgt. William H. Cox and First Sgt. James T. Hollingsworth were that friend to each other.
Cox and Hollingsworth first met while serving as Marines in the U.S. Army, fighting in Vietnam. The turning point in their relationship came on New Year’s 1968. The two soldiers were crouched in a foxhole, watching explosions that were “much too close for comfort” Cox told Greenville News.
As Cox and Hollingsworth sat there, they started to wonder if they would ever make it out of the attack, let alone war, alive. The thought was terrifying, so they decided to make a promise to each other. “If we survived this attack, or Vietnam, we would contact each other every year on New Year’s,” Cox shared.
Sure enough, the two made it out of the night and Vietnam alive and for nearly 50 years they kept the promise made on that almost fatal night.
Cox, of South Carolina, and Hollingsworth, of Georgia, called each other and sometimes even met up every single New Year’s just like they originally promised. No matter what stage of life they were in, they always set aside time to call their buddy and update each other on their lives.
Unfortunately, last year Hollingsworth broke the news to Cox that he developed a terminally ill disease and didn’t have much time to live. As soon as Cox found out, he traveled the 125 miles to see his brother in arms.
Once Cox arrived, Hollingsworth asked him to make one more promise. Hollingsworth asked that Cox deliver a eulogy at his funeral.
“I said, ‘Boy, that’s a rough mission you’re assigning me to there,” Cox exclaimed.
Early in 2017, though, Cox kept his promise to Hollingsworth and standing beside the casket of his life-time friend, Cox shared a eulogy, speaking about the bond the two of them shared.
“There’s a bond between Marines that’s different from any other branch of service. We’re like brothers.”
While the brothers were serving their country, they would continually repeat a phrase to each other to encourage each other to keep up the fight. Cox shared that he would tell his friend a million times, “Hollie, you keep ‘em flying, and I’ll keep ‘em firing.” Cox shared this very phrase in his beautiful eulogy to his life-time friend.
The story of Cos and Hollingsworth and their undivided loyalty to each other and their country is truly inspiring to all of us. Let it serve as a reminder of the true meaning of friendship.
If your heart was warmed by this friendship and their promise, please SHARE with a friend!