Al Wilson, beloved WWII veteran laid to rest

BALL, La. (KALB) - On Tuesday, loved ones accompanied 97-year-old Al Wilson to his final resting place at Forrest Lawn Memorial Park. The World War Two veteran was buried in Marine Corps scarlet and black, a fitting tribute to the man's life and legacy.

On Tuesday, loved ones accompanied 97-year-old Al Wilson to his final resting place at Forrest Lawn Memorial Park in Ball. | Photo Source: KALB

In August 1942, Wilson left what is now Northwestern State University to enlist in the Corps. He served as an airborne Marine, seeing combat in the Pacific theater during the battle for the Island of Bougainville and Iwo Jima. Wilson also witnessed the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi and knew two of the six Marines who carried out the infamous act.

The veteran went on to 25 years working for the V.A. After retiring, he stayed active in the community and loved to play golf. George Jones, also a Marine veteran said his friendship with Wilson started on the green.

"We were always good friends and marines. I'm sad that he's gone. He was a gentleman and would always do the right thing." Jones added that his late friend often shared his combat experience with the public, especially students.

Wilson was also known as a pillar at Horseshoe Drive United Methodist Church. Kent Bonnette worshipped with the veteran for 46 years and said Wilson's favorite hymn was 'This Little Light of Mine.'

"You wouldn't think that a Marine who had seen the combat he had seen, that this would be his favorite hymn," said Bonnette with a laugh. "But he loved singing it because that's who he was..he radiated positivity, goodness, caring for people and a genuine desire to see others happy and blessed."

Bonnette is a funeral assistant with Hixson Brothers and said it was an honor and the least he could do to help Wilson's family with the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to Horseshoe Drive United Methodist Church.

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