News: Fallen leader's legacy remembered
Story by Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Family, friends, and soldiers from 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division gathered to honor the life and legacy of Staff Sgt. Wesley R. Williams in a memorial ceremony at Evergreen Chapel, Jan. 16.
Williams, 25, of New Carlisle, Ohio, died Dec. 10, during combat operations in Panjwa’i district, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to Company B, the "Bayonet Company" of 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division.
“A true patriot, Staff Sgt. Williams loved his profession and dedicated himself to serving his nation for a lifetime,” said Capt. Adam Patten, 1-38 Infantry rear detachment commander, on behalf of Company B commander Capt. Matthew Boise.
In too short a period of time, he gave a lifetime’s worth of service to more than just his nation, Patten continued.
According to Boise, Williams was a young, extremely energetic and skilled noncommissioned officer. He would always find humor in a tough situation, was committed to accomplishing the most difficult tasks and always gave his best.
“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,” Patten said.
“He always displayed great loyalty and true passion for being a soldier,” said Staff Sgt. Spencer Wright, 1-38 Infantry rear detachment headquarters platoon sergeant, who spoke on behalf of Sgt. 1st Class Donald Register, Williams' platoon sergeant.
“He didn’t sleep or quit until he was satisfied with the results and, to me, that showed his true character as a leader,” said Wright.
The lasting impression Williams made on those around him was further illustrated by Wright through the words of a soldier downrange, who recalled first meeting Williams in 2010.
“When I came into the Company B family, Spc. Williams greeted me with open arms and spent countless hours teaching and mentoring me on how to be the very best soldier I am today,” said Wright. “For that, I am eternally grateful.”
“Staff Sgt. Williams will always be remembered as a true American hero,” quoted Wright.
“To his endless gifts honed through a perfectionist’s quest, generations of soldiers will now bear likeness to his leadership traits and culture of character,” Patten said on behalf of Lt. Col. Chad Sundem, 1-38 Infantry commander.
The Brigade Soldier of the Year, Williams was also a husband, father and father-to-be.
“As we go forward, we take with us Staff Sgt. Williams’ memory and his examples of courage, leadership, humility and service,” said Patten on behalf of Boise.
“We will not falter, we will remain ‘Rocks’,” he continued. “We will never forget our sense of duty – we will fix bayonets, we will move on - ‘To the Objective’, so ‘Let ‘em Come!’”
Staff Sgt. Wesley Ross Williams, of New Carlisle, Ohio, was born Mar. 17, 1987, and graduated from Tecumseh High School in 2005. Following graduation, he attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Ga., in the military occupational specialty 11B, Infantryman.
Williams completed Airborne School in 2005 and received the Special Qualification Identifier of Parachutist. He was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment (SCR), Vilseck, Germany, in March of 2006. He deployed to Iraq with 2nd SCR as a radio telephone operator from August 2007 until October 2008.
In February 2009, Williams was assigned to 1-38 Infantry, 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He deployed to Iraq as a rifleman with the unit from September 2009 to August 2010. A veteran of two Iraq tours, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a squad leader in November 2012.
According to Williams’ wife, Krista, in his spare time he enjoyed drawing, loved tattoos, and was addicted to the video game series “Halo.” Above all, he was a proud father.
“He was a really, really great father,” said Krista.
“He always wanted to be a soldier from the time he was little,” she added. “He died doing what he loved.”
Williams’ additional military education includes the Warrior Leaders Course (2011).
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral “3”, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and Parachutist Badge.
Williams is survived by his wife, Krista, daughter, Faith, parents Linda and Lars Williams, and siblings Amber, Hannah and Austin Williams.