Executives from Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and the Veterans Council of Nassau County honored a late World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor, Richard “Dick” Henry, with a memorial bench in Central Park in Fernandina Beach on Mon., Jan. 23. Dick Henry passed away at 101 years old on May 18, 2021, but his legacy lives on in his community and in the lives of his fellow brothers and sisters in arms.
Fernandina Beach neighbors remember Henry, affectionately known as “Chief,” for his daily 3-mile walks, his wisdom, and most importantly, his service to our country. Dick Henry wanted to make sure future generations of veterans were taken care of after he was gone. He left WWP a generous legacy gift that helps ensure injured warriors can continue to benefit from the free programs and services that support their physical and mental well-being and help them transition successfully from the military to civilian life.
Henry joined the U.S. Navy in 1939 when he was 18 years old and served for 20 years. He was aboard the USS Helena during the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. The military was in Chief’s blood. His father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather all had military backgrounds. His great-great grandfather died as a prisoner of war and is buried at Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia.