After entering the service, Earnest was assigned to M Company 116th Infantry. He was with the unit when it sailed for France aboard the USS Finland on 15 Jun 1918. It took the ship 13 days to cross the Atlantic from Hoboken, New Jersey to the port of Saint Nazaire, France. Ernest then went through trench warfare training with the regiment. PFC Woolwine was killed in action on 12 Oct 1918.
PFC Woolwine was repatriated and re-interred in Sunset Cemetery in Christiansburg, Virginia.
Earnest's brother, Walker, was also a member of M Company and died 3 days after him. Walker also is interred in the Sunset Cemetery.