Our weekly series, Remembering our Veterans continues with the story of a father-son military duo. Combined, they have been serving our country for over five decades and their pride and passion is always on display.

John Williams, a graduate of Erie's Academy High School, a 29-year member of the Coast Guard and still active. His father Paul, now 73 also served in the Coast Guard from 1972 until 1992.

"I didn't have a choice to start with because the time I went in the draft was going on, so you had to be either drafted in or sign up for another branch of service," Paul Williams. 

"When I was commissioned my father was the first person to salute me," said John Williams. "He got that sliver dollar from me, and I think that it wasn't just because of that silver dollar that he put the uniform on that day."  

"The Admiral presented him with his collar devices on one side," said John. "I pinned him on the other side, and I've been just as proud of him every since." 

After high school and Naval Academy Prep School, John entered the Coast Guard academy, he served on an ice breaker and has been to the north pole and the south pole.

He's also traveled to South American, China, Australia and New Zealand, he's been a helicopter pilot for 16 years and has been on many rescue missions.

"I've got nearly 4,000 hours of helicopter flying," said John. "Primarily doing search and rescue, late hours of the night picking up people who got themselves into trouble."

Father and son have enjoyed so many great moments together, and some emotional moments they will never forget.

"My father was in the Navy, he put two years in during World War 2, and a couple more years in Korea," said Paul. "He was part of the influence to me to make the decision that when I graduated that I would do the same thing my dad did." 

"I remember those pilots, all of my friends that I trained with that won't go to their families again," said John. 

John will retire this summer on July first, a combined 33 years with the Coast Guard and he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and two children and visiting his parents in Erie.

The 50 year old John Williams leaves in Alexandria, Virginia. Paul and John Wiliams, thank you for your service.