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 Parris Island fully reopens, holds 1st open graduation 

 From staff reports 

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island fully reopened to the public on Wednesday, June 16. MCRD Parris Island announced the reopening last Tuesday on its Facebook page. 

The public had been restricted from Parris Island due to COVID-19 concerns for roughly a year. 

The depot will now be open each day of the week to visitors. This includes no restrictions on the amount of people allowed for all future recruit training graduations. 

All Family Day and Graduation activities have resumed and will be accessible to the public. 

Family and friends pack the reviewing stands to watch as 352 new U.S. Marines graduate from basic training Friday, June 18, at Marine Corps Recuit Depot Parris Island during the first Marine Corps graduation fully open to the public in roughly a year. The public has been restricted from Parris Island due to COVID-19 concerns. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

The depot’s first fully open graduation in roughly a year, held, Friday, June 18, was a special event in itself. 

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Herschel “Woody” Williams, retired, was the Parade Reviewing Official. 

Williams is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient of the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. He earned the medal for his actions while serving with 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. As a bonus, Williams was able to watch his great-grandson graduate with Series 2045, Echo Company. 

While the depot will be fully reopened, there are still mask mandate requirements that will be enforced at the following facilities on base: Marine Corps Exchange, the commissary, the Douglas Visitor Center, the museum, the all-weather training facility, Subway, the bowling alley and Lyceum. 

Pictured at top: Chief Warrant Officer 4 Herschel “Woody” Williams, retired, shakes hands with Sgt. Brittany Guadalupe following the graduation of Echo Company on Friday, June 18, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. CWO Williams is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient of the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. He earned the medal for his actions while serving with 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. As the Parade Reviewing Official, Williams was able to watch his great-grandson graduate. Photo by Bob Sofaly