You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Local soldier will be buried in Arlington

A 2005 Tecumseh High School graduate killed this week in Afghanistan will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, his wife said Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Wesley “Wes” Williams, 25, died Monday in Kandahar of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his Army unit with an improvised explosive device, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

A veteran of two tours in Iraq, Williams deployed Nov. 15 to Afghanistan as a squad leader. He served with 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

“The soldiers are doing what they’re doing because they believe in it,” his wife, Krista Williams, said.

As she boarded a plane Wednesday morning to pick up her husband’s body from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Krista described her demeanor as calm and collected — the very nature of her husband.

“It’s him,” she said. “This is exactly how he handled things.”

A funeral service will be held in New Carlisle, but arrangements are pending, said Krista, a 2006 graduate of Tecumseh High School.

Tecumseh Local Schools also will do something to honor Wes Williams, Superintendent Jim Gay said, but the district first needs to coordinate with the Williams family before details can be announced.

Williams is the fourth Clark County man to be killed during the 11-year-old War on Terror.

Jim Hogan understands firsthand what the Williams family is experiencing.

His stepson, Shawnee High School graduate and Marine Sgt. David Christoff, was killed in May 2006 by a roadside bomb while on foot patrol in Iraq.

“It’s almost like an out of body experience at this point,” Hogan said. “You’re aware that it’s always a possibility, but you convince yourself it’s not going to happen to your family.”

He said the Williams family likely is feeling a range of emotions, from pride to disillusionment.

“There’s a sense of regret, even sometimes some significant pessimism,” he said. “Was it worth it? Did the people in Washington use his life the way it should be used? You have those feelings also.”

He and his wife, Amy, met with then-President George W. Bush in the Oval Office, which provided some degree of comfort.

But the pain still lingers.

“Both of us feel for those folks,” he said of the Williams family.

Williams, who grew up in Park Layne, joined the Army right after high school. After completion of airborne school, he was assigned to a regiment in Vilseck, Germany, in March 2006.

He first deployed to Iraq as a radio telephone operator from August 2007 to October 2008, according to the Army.

In February 2009, Williams was assigned to his current unit at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, and deployed to Iraq a second time as a rifleman from September 2009 to August 2010.

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal, 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 Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge and Parachutist Badge.

Krista Williams said the experience of losing friends in Iraq had an impact on her husband.

“It definitely changed him,” she said. “I don’t really know how to put it into words.”

Ultimately, she said, “He handled everything really well.”

The two were high school sweethearts who married after his first deployment to Iraq. Together, they have a 1-year-old daughter, Faith, and Krista is pregnant with their second child.

Today marks the couple’s fourth wedding anniversary, and Krista noted they’ll be together this anniversary.

“I think we only spent one anniversary together,” she said. “It goes with the territory.”

She recently sent Wes his first care package of this deployment, containing his beloved PayDay candy bars and energy drinks, and pictures of a visibly frightened Faith with Santa.

“We can go to bed tonight and be comfortable in our own beds, and that’s exactly what they want for us,”

Krista Williams said. “Every soldier fights for their family.”

Share condolences, memories for Staff Sgt. Williams >>

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Military

Vets group appointee disputed
Vets group appointee disputed

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck has asked for a Court of Appeals hearing to remove a recent appointee to the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission, claiming the appointment process deprived the group from putting who it wanted on the five-member panel. The court document, filed late Friday afternoon by Heck’s office, contended the...
All-women skydiving team coming to Dayton Air Show
All-women skydiving team coming to Dayton Air Show

An all-women skydiving team will descend on the Vectren Dayton Air Show this summer and the Navy’s Blue Angels will return in 2018, organizers said. The Misty Blues All-Woman Skydiving Team will join long-time acrobatic champion performer Sean D. Tucker and a World War II-era F4U Corsair fighter plane as part of the line-up June 24-25 show headlined...
Wright-Patt directorate expects ‘spike’ in sales after big drop in 2016
Wright-Patt directorate expects ‘spike’ in sales after big drop in 2016

The Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate handled $8.1 billion in foreign military sales in fiscal year 2016, a drop of more than half from the prior year. AFSAC Director Brig. Gen. Gregory M. Gutterman expects the Wright-Patterson headquartered agency with more than 600 employees who handle deals with 108 countries to see a &rdquo...
Air Force Marathon registration down from last year
Air Force Marathon registration down from last year

More than 4,600 runners registered Monday to claim a spot in the 2017 Air Force Marathon, about 1,000 less than last year, according to an event organizer. But Marathon Director Rob Aguiar said he’s not worried about the slower start out of the running block. “Runners are making more choices,” Aguiar said. “I’m not overly...
QR codes help preserve detailed memories of veterans, fallen soldiers
QR codes help preserve detailed memories of veterans, fallen soldiers

“Quick response” codes have been around since the 90s, but New Carlisle resident Randy Ark and Dodds Monuments of Springfield are pushing to see the codes on more headstones and civic memorials. Ark, a Vietnam veteran, has undertaken the development of Veterans Park in downtown Springfield as his personal mission to preserve detailed memories...
More Stories