Saturday, December 18, 2010

Purple Heart Edition

"I'm just glad I stepped on that IED. Otherwise, it would have been one of my buddies." Army Sgt. J.D. Williams, triple amputee.

BUTTE — U.S. Army Sgt. J.D. Williams never really wanted a Purple Heart. Nobody does, he said. The 23-year-old Harrison High School graduate is missing his right arm and both legs, amputated after he stepped on an improvised explosive device in October in Afghanistan.

An infantryman with HHC 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry, Williams, who grew up in Anaconda, spent more than five months fighting the Taliban and pushing toward an end to the war. On Oct. 9, at 8:30 a.m., Williams took one wrong step. The blast sent him 20 feet in the air, he said, and left a 6-foot crater in the ground. When the smoke from the explosion cleared and Williams could finally see again, he rolled over and tried to assess his injuries. He remained conscious the entire time.

Williams calls himself a lucky man. "I really think God has a purpose for me on this planet," he said. "I will find it, whatever it is."

The cards, letters and support keep Williams motivated, his mother said. "They keep him positive and remind him he is still a hero," she said. "If he did not have the support he has, the excruciating pain might have brought him down."

Donations, cards and letters to Sgt. J.D. Williams and family may be sent to:

Powless Guest House
No. 330, c/o Ashlee Williams
3298 George C. Beach Road
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234

Read more via Montana Standard The Billings Gazette

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