Army Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams and his wife, Amy Williams, said they were honored and humbled to represent paratroopers’ families and their sacrifices after the Williams family was reunited during the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.
“It was such an honor for us to be chosen to attend the State of the Union address. We are humbled to represent our Paratrooper families and their sacrifices, especially those serving in harm’s way,” the Williams family said in a statement provided to Breitbart News.
Townsend Williams is an airborne infantryman and platoon sergeant with Delta Company, 1-508 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 82nd Airborne Division, according to division spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Burns. It was his fourth deployment.
The 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, deployed to southern Afghanistan last summer, and was deployed over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) February 5, 2020
Two 3rd BCT paratroopers were killed during that deployment. Army Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin of Newport News, Virginia, and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon of Joliet, Illinois, were killed by a roadside bomb on January 11, 2020, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
President Trump said he was working to end the war in Afghanistan during his address.
“As we defend American lives, we are working to end America’s wars in the Middle East. In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our warfighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are now underway,” he said. “These are war fighters that we have — the best in the world — and they either want to fight to win or not fight at all.”
He spoke about the heavy burden placed on military families during the State of the Union speech and recognized Amy Williams for her volunteer work in helping other families while her husband was away.
“War places a heavy burden on our nation’s extraordinary military families, especially spouses like Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her two children — six-year-old Elliana and three-year-old Rowan,” he said.
“Amy works full-time and volunteers countless hours helping other military families. For the past seven months, she has done it all while her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams, is in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment in the Middle East,” he said.
He noted that their children had not seen their father’s face in “many months.”
“Amy, your family’s sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in safety and in peace, and we want to thank you. Thank you, Amy,” he said.
Then, he added, “But, Amy, there is one more thing. Tonight, we have a very special surprise. I am thrilled to inform you that your husband is back from deployment. He is here with us tonight, and we couldn’t keep him waiting any longer.”
Townsend Williams then appeared, walked to his stunned family, scooped up his children, and kissed his wife.
After lawmakers stood and gave them extended applause, they chanted, “USA!”White House
“Welcome home, Sgt. Williams. Thank you very much,” Trump said.
Williams said in a video tweeted by the Army after the address:
I’m Sgt. 1st Class Williams from the 82nd Airborne Division. I did a branch transfer in 2005 from the Air National Guard. After I saw the 82nd Paratroopers, I realized that’s what I wanted to be. I hold service to my country, my unit, my men very close to my heart. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my family, and I’m grateful to be able to serve in the United States Army. God bless America.
Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams, @82ndABNDiv, was just reunited with his family at the #StateofTheUnion. They represent our great Army families & the sacrifices they make on behalf of the nation. We are honored to have Soldiers like Williams in our ranks. #SOTU2020 #SOTU pic.twitter.com/JjESFedQXT
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) February 5, 2020
Burns said Williams has previously served as a drill sergeant, section sergeant, operations non-commissioned officer, heavy weapons section leader, recruiter, fire team leader, rifleman, and assistant machine gunner.
He has deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan twice.
His previous awards include Army Commendation Valor, four Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medal Ribbons, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, two Iraq Campaign Medals, the Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.