Fallen CTF 4-2 soldier 'will always be remembered as a true American hero'
December 21, 2012
COMBAT OUTPOST SPERWAN GHAR, Afghanistan - One of the things that 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment "Rock of the Marne", leaders stressed to the men in their unit was that when they deploy, the Army doesn't issue a Superman suit for combat, so they needed to be at their best in every facet of their personal and professional lives for when that day comes.
Staff Sgt. Wesley Williams, a squad leader in Company B, 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Regt., didn't need a suit to be issued; he already had one, said Lt. Col. Chad Sundem, commander of 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Regt.
Soldiers of 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division celebrated the life of Williams during a memorial ceremony Dec. 15, here.
Williams died Dec. 10, during combat operations in the Panjwa'i District.
He was born in Texas but grew in Ohio and joined the Army in 2005.
After attending One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning from July 2005 to June 2006, he was stationed in Vilseck, Germany from March 2006 to October 2008.
Following OSUT, he transferred to Joint Base Lewis-McChord where he was assigned to B Co., 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Regt.
In the years he spent in the company, he left a lasting impression on Soldiers and leaders.
"Generations of Soldiers will now bear his likeness to his leadership traits and his culture of character," Sundem said. "And that legacy left with (3rd platoon, Co. B) and the others he's influenced, will ripple through the Army's ranks forever and we all will be better served for it," said Sundem.
Staff Sgt. Edward Cizik, a squad leader with B Co., and good friend of Williams, spoke on behalf of other Soldiers in the unit during his speech.
One Soldier Cizik spoke for said he had met Williams in 2010 and that Williams "spent countless hours teaching and mentoring me on how to be the very best Soldier I am today, and for that I am eternally grateful."
"Staff Sgt. Williams will always be remembered as a true American hero," Cizik quoted.
Another thing people said about Williams was that he was selfless and a strong leader.
"He always displayed great loyalty and true passion to be a Soldier," said Sgt. 1st Class Donald Register, Williams' platoon sergeant.
"Just the other day, prior to mission, he told me there's absolutely nothing else he would rather be doing than serving his country," Register continued. "He was a true patriot and died leading his Soldiers in combat."
Williams' company commander, Capt. Matthew Boise, spoke highly of Williams and his determination.
"Several of us will remember how hard Staff Sgt. Williams fought, in his most desperate moment, for his own life and more importantly, for the lives of his Soldiers," Boise said.
"Staff Sgt. Williams clearly loved his profession, and he dedicated himself toward serving his nation for a lifetime," Boise added. "In too short a period of time, he gave more than just his nation a lifetime worth of service."
The service and sacrifice of Williams was also mentioned by Cizik who, once again, quoted a Soldier from the company.
"(People back in the United States) rest easy due to the sacrifices that brave men make to keep (U.S. citizens and their families) safe." Cizik said. "So on Monday, this past Monday, one of those brave men gave his all just to take those out that wanted to hurt us. He put his life on the line just to make sure his Soldiers made it back safely."
Cizik continued with a quote from a Soldier who spoke about what most perceived to be the most important thing in Williams' life: his family.
"For the family he leaves behind I say this: your husband and father never stopped fighting and he never quit on us. He wanted us to all return safely and more than anything he wanted to return to his loving family," Cizik read.
Sundem ended his speech with a bittersweet appreciation to Williams' family.
"Krista, Faith, and all of Will's family, know that you are forever part of this family, the "Rock" family," Sundem said. "We want to humbly thank you for sharing your Superman with us."
His awards include the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal with one knot, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze service star, Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with two bronze stars, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
Williams is survived by his wife and daughter.