Mr. Speaker, this month William ‘‘Bill’’ Sherrill turns 90 years young. This energetic veteran still has the same passion for our country and our military that he had the day he enlisted into the Marines at 15 years of age in 1941. As a young teenager, Bill served during World War Two and participated in the island hopping campaign until he was wounded in Iwo Jima. Born in the 1920s, Bill grew up in the Depression of the 1930s poor, in Houston, Texas. At the age of 15, two weeks after Pearl Harbor, Bill dropped out of Lanier Middle School and answered his country’s call of duty to serve by joining the U.S. Marines. Bill said ‘‘he didn’t lie about his age; I’m from Texas, I exaggerated my age.’’ During this time, the United States’ major strategy was launched against Japan in a strategy called island hopping. This tactic was employed by the United States to gain military bases and secure small islands in the Pacific. Our military took control of the islands and quickly constructed landing strips and military bases. Then they proceeded to attack other islands from the bases they had established. Bill belonged to the 3rd Marines, 9th Battalion, and they participated in several campaigns along Bougainville,

Bill said ‘‘he didn’t lie about his age; I’m from Texas, I exaggerated my age.’’ During this time, the United States’ major strategy was launched against Japan in a strategy called island hopping. This tactic was employed by the United States to gain military bases and secure small islands in the Pacific. Our military took control of the islands and quickly constructed landing strips and military bases. Then they proceeded to attack other islands from the bases they had established. Bill belonged to the 3rd Marines, 9th Battalion, and they participated in several campaigns along Bougainville,

Bill belonged to the 3rd Marines, 9th Battalion, and they participated in several campaigns along Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. In February 1945, his troop invaded Iwo Jima on the seventh day. It was a month long bloody battle against Imperial Japan that resulted in 7,000 Marines who were killed and over 20,000 were injured; mostly young Marines. Bill lasted seven days, before being shot through the left arm; he went out on the fourteenth day of the battle. Bill recalls seeing the flag ‘‘Old Glory’’ that was famously waved over Mount Suribachi. From that experience, Bill knew that the Marines go where others fear to tread, and the timid are not found. For his injuries, Bill was treated at Oakland Naval Hospital. The bullet severed the nerve in his left arm, leaving his arm paralyzed and causing Bill to spiral into depression. But, Bill’s story is not over. For his service and bravery, Bill received the Purple Heart, American Campaign

The bullet severed the nerve in his left arm, leaving his arm paralyzed and causing Bill to spiral into depression. But, Bill’s story is not over. For his service and bravery, Bill received the Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. While recovering at the Naval Hospital, Bill also earned his GED (General Education Diploma). This would set him on a new course of training—from the battlefield to the classroom. After his discharge in 1946, he moved back to Texas and enrolled at the University of Houston. Four years later, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and then his Master’s at the Harvard School of Business. Bill never gave up. He was wounded, uneducated and paralyzed but he continued to press forward. With his determination to never give in, Bill has had many successes. He has owned several businesses and even helped develop Tiki and Jamaica Island in Galveston. Banking and real estate were his main interests. He was employed by the City of Houston, served as president of a local bank, owned a financial consulting firm, and even served on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. With this diverse and fascinating career, it wasn’t until 1990, that Bill discovered his true passion— teaching. He returned to his alma mater, the University of Houston, to teach at the Bauer College of Business Administration. Three years later, he founded the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at

Bill never gave up. He was wounded, uneducated and paralyzed but he continued to press forward. With his determination to never give in, Bill has had many successes. He has owned several businesses and even helped develop Tiki and Jamaica Island in Galveston. Banking and real estate were his main interests. He was employed by the City of Houston, served as president of a local bank, owned a financial consulting firm, and even served on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. With this diverse and fascinating career, it wasn’t until 1990, that Bill discovered his true passion— teaching. He returned to his alma mater, the University of Houston, to teach at the Bauer College of Business Administration. Three years later, he founded the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at

With this diverse and fascinating career, it wasn’t until 1990, that Bill discovered his true passion— teaching. He returned to his alma mater, the University of Houston, to teach at the Bauer College of Business Administration. Three years later, he founded the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at University of Houston. Ronald Reagan best summed it up when he said, ‘‘Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.’’ That’s certainly true for Bill, a remarkable man who has certainly made a difference in our community and in the lives of many. Happy 90th, Oooh Rah. Semper Fi. And that’s just the way it is. 

And that’s just the way it is.