On April 5, WWII veteran Guy Whidden decided to have his head shaved into a mohawk “as a tribute to his fallen comrades,” as well as to brighten people’s day during the COVID-19 pandemic.
96-year-old Whidden, 502nd Infantry Parachute Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during the Second World War, enlisted his granddaughter Lydia to cut his hair, and film it for social media.
“I would like to have my hair cut as a mohawk haircut that we cut for D-Day in France and also in Holland as a tribute to all the fallen airborne guys up in the skies,” Whidden states at the beginning of the video. “I would like to thank and challenge all of you past, present, and future airborne people … I challenge all of you, and it’s something we can do during this present problem that we have that will be solved shortly.”
After having his hearing aids removed, the buzzing began.
During his haircut, Whidden told the story about having shaved his head into a mohawk during the war:
In World War II, some units were able to wear mohawks, and they didn’t discourage it in the 101st, but a young buck lieutenant … wanted to impress everybody, I guess, so … the day before, he ordered me to have my mohawk cut off.
Whidden, recalling that he didn’t want to “cause a lot of problems,” said that he shaved his mohawk off.
Among the comments below the video, commenter Tom Cowlishaw offered praise to WWII veterans:
“WW2 vets, in my opinion, are some of the most heart warming, positive, thoughtful people. They went through such horrors, yet they’ve come out the other side almost as if they’re blessed,” Cowlishaw wrote. “I don’t know how they seem so positive after all they saw, but I find it very endearing and [it] reminds me how lucky we all are today, to not have had to have gone through what they did. Thank you, sir, for your service, for allowing us all to be free at the expense of years of your own freedom.”
After the video was uploaded to YouTube, Lydia posted a follow-up on Facebook showing various military men taking part in the “Mohawk Challenge.”
The Daily Wire reached out for comment, and Whidden (via Lydia on Facebook) said of the stunt:
Certainly some people are concerned and frightened, as maybe some of their family has passed away, and we got thinking about how we might bring some joy and fun for those sitting around the house becoming bored, but if we can have a good laugh now and then. So, we thought we’d put this out as a challenge that they might cut their hair as a mohawk to brighten spirits and bring some fun while we quarantine, and most importantly honor those who have fallen.
Lydia later relayed that Whidden wanted to makes sure to note that this was to honor “all fallen military, not just WWII.”
As of publication, the YouTube video has over 15,200 views and counting.
For more on Guy Whidden, you can check out this interview with him from American Veterans Center: