Montana Hero Comes Home
J.D. Williams, a Harrison native, and Army Sargeant came home today. He lost both legs and an arm in the war overseas, and after months in the hospital, was finally able to make the trip.
My kids had the day off from school today as part of the long Memorial Day weekend. They were very excited to stay inside and watch movies and play on this blustery, chilly day. I told them that we were going to the airport to welcome Williams home. First, they asked if we know him, and I said no. Then, they asked why we were going.
I told them that J.D. Williams has served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, was injured, and finally on his way home. My kids, except Matthew, know about the war, and I told them that Williams has been fighting terrorists to make sure that we stay safe. I told them about his injuries. I told them the LEAST we can do, is welcome him home and let him know that we support and appreciate him.
They ran upstairs and came down in red, white and blue clothes. We were off to the airport, and arrived at 11 a.m., with our flag in hand, to a crowded room. The plane arrived at 12:45. My kids are young, and sitting semi-still for 1 hour and 45 minutes just isn't possible. They did pretty well, and I think it's because they understood the importance of this event.
I loved seeing all of the different people there. Of course there were family members and friends, current members of the Military and Veterans, and Police and Fire. I even met some people who just wanted to be there to thank J.D. and his family for their service and sacrifice.
When the plane landed, the cheering started. There was not a dry eye when Williams, his wife and young daughter came off the plane. Even the weather cooperated with the moment, as the wind died down for his arrival. My kids waved their flags and cheered, along with hundreds of others.
I left soon afterward, with some tired, hungry kids in tow. I thanked them for coming with me and being so well behaved, and asked what they thought. Emma said she was surprised he was so young, and thought it was special that we got to be there. She thanked me for taking her. Gracie was sad, but very glad that he was alive and got to be with his little girl.
I took the kids to lunch, and that's when the questions started. We sat there for over an hour, while I answered their questions that covered everything from war to his injuries. I reminded them that there are some people who don't get to come home from military service, and that's why we have Memorial Day, and why they have the day off. I want them to enjoy their 4 day weekend, but also want them to know why they have it.
Now, we are off to enjoy some family time, because I also want them to know how much I love them. Today was also a reminder to enjoy your life, and be good to the people in it. God Bless you, J.D Williams, and your family. Thank you for your service to our Country, and for reminding us just how precious life is.