I commend the March 24 article by staff writer Marylynne Pitz "Honoring a Marine Who Died with Valor" on Lance Corporal William Prom, U.S.M.C. For those of us who were close friends, classmates and teammates of Billy's, the article brought tears, laughter and pride as close together as they could possibly be.
My fondest memory of Billy was being a guest in his house several times and lifting weights during football season in his basement. Always when we finished a workout, his mom had a tall glass of cold milk waiting for us on the kitchen table.
I know I speak on behalf of all of his former classmates at Millvale High School when I say that, to this very day, there is not one among us who was not deeply moved and saddened at his death. More so, none of us could ever imagine his heroics and the valor in which he unselfishly gave his own life to save the others in his company in Vietnam in 1969.
You could never find a teenage boy more shy or bashful, but always a letter-perfect gentleman to all. His manner of death to so many of us seemed so out of character as young adults, but then again, none of us knew Billy as one of America's finest, a United States Marine.
The members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate will be doing this community a great service by renaming the 31st Street Bridge in Billy's honor. I encourage them to pass House Bill 349 and do so. You could not have picked a finer person to bestow such an honor and tribute than Billy Prom.