More On: Carl Spurlin Dekel
Carl Spurlin Dekel, a U.S. Marine who turned 100 last week, says that much of what American soldiers fought for in World War II has 'gone down the drain.'
Fox 13 reports that Dekel says serving his country in WWII was the most important thing he has ever done. The veteran and Silver Star recipient says he wouldn't think twice about putting his life in danger again, but he's sad that the U.S. isn't what it used to be.
“People don’t realize what they have,” Dekel told the outlet. “The things we did and the things we fought for and the boys that died for it, it’s all gone down the drain.”
“We haven’t got the country we had when I was raised, not at all,” he says. “Nobody will have the fun I had. Nobody will have the opportunity I had. It’s just not the same and that’s not what our boys, that’s not what they died for.”
Dekel said these things on the same day that the U.S. lost the last Medal of Honor winner from WWII who was still alive. Hershel "Woody" Williams died on Wednesday at the age of 98. He was with his family at a hospital in his home state of West Virginia that was named after him.
During the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, former President Harry Truman gave Williams a medal for bravery. Williams was also a U.S. Marine at the time.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, the 63 living Medal of Honor winners in America praised Williams.
“Friends and family of Woody Williams knew him as a West Virginia farmer’s son and the youngest of 11 children who dutifully supported his family after his father died,” they wrote in a statement through the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “Fellow Marines knew him as the corporal who volunteered for a mission on Iwo Jima to clear a lane through enemy pillboxes that were destroying American tanks.”
“Veterans in West Virginia knew him as their advocate through his work as a Veterans Service Representative. Gold Star families knew Woody through his work raising money for scholarships and other programs through the Woody Williams Foundation,” they continued. “We, his fellow Medal of Honor Recipients, knew him as our friend and one of our heroes. We will miss him greatly.”
Williams echoed Dekel’s sentiment of loss during an interview on Memorial Day, remarking to local media that he hoped to see a resurgence of patriotism in the U.S.
“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 during a veterans’ event. “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.”