News: Improving quality of life, one move at a time
Story by Spc. Hannah Fulcher
CAMP SHELBY JOINT FORCES TRAINING CENTER, Miss. — Having three military job specialties, three children and two deployments, Staff Sgt. Stephen Williamson, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team non-commissioned officer in charge of the department of emergency services, says the military is consistently helping him improve his quality of life, one move at a time.
“I joined the military eight years ago,” explained Williamson. “I had dabbled in college here and there but was not really doing anything with my life, and I wanted better. So I went and spoke with a recruiter and I have been serving and loving it ever since.”
Meeting his wife right before heading off to basic and marrying her shortly after coming home, Williamson says he has no concerns heading off for deployment again. “Well, we have done this before, so she knows what to expect for one,” says Williamson. “And as far as her being a wife at home while her husband is off at work, I am not concerned at all. She is more handy then me. She knows how to cut off the water if a pipe burst and who to call afterwards, and heck, if I have something wrong with my car I ask her, so no worries there.”
Although he is not concerned with his wife holding down the fort while he is gone, he is very sad leaving his three beloved children, K’Lani, Kalvin, and Khloe, ranging from 10 months to 10 years old.
“It is hard to talk to my kids about the deployment,” explains Williamson. “I tried not to discuss it with them at all, because I wanted our time together to be about what is going on in their lives, with their schools and us just being together, and them knowing I was there and loved them.”
Williamson said that when he finally had to talk to his children about him leaving, he told them that he would think of them every day and call them as often as possible.
Knowing his sacrifice, Williamson said what is driving him forward is his career progression, buying their first house and going on a vacation with his wife and children when he comes home.
“I am excited to deploy again,” explains Williamson. “As soon as I come home, I am taking my wife on a vacation, maybe to Vagas, maybe on a cruise, and then we are going to take the kids to somewhere like Disney World. And then we are going to look for and hopefully buy our first house.”
Williamson recently moved his entire family to Macon, Ga., from Detroit, Michigan and took up a job as a satellite technician with DirecTV Home Services.
“DirecTV has been very supportive,” said Williamson. “I am very lucky to have a job with them, because every training event I had to go to, including this deployment, they have supported me and allowed me to participate in with no complaints or hassle.”
Always looking to better himself, Williamson holds three military job specialties: a radio and communication security repair specialist, armament repair specialist and as an intelligence analyst.
“I am always seeking to improve my quality of life, myself and my marketability,” explains Williamson. “My wife is in school currently for her business degree and I always want to make sure her and the kids are taken care of. That’s why we moved to Georgia, better quality of life: better school systems for the kids and I am gainfully employed inside and outside of the National Guard."
Serving as a counselor’s assistant at the military entrance processing station for his first three years in the National Guard, deploying to Iraq with the 1073rd Maintenance Company as their security detail non-commissioned officer in charge. Now preparing to deploy with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Williamson says he cannot imagine his life without the military and is looking forward to his next 12 years of service.