01/26/11 — Their hero: Les Williams left a legacy

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Their hero: Les Williams left a legacy

It is heroic enough to put your life on the line in defense of your country.

But to take your personal time to not only be a great father, but also to offer your wisdom and guidance to a team of 8-9-year-old boys -- and to earn their respect and admiration in return -- is what really made Seymour Johnson AFB Tech. Sgt. Les Williams a hero.

The news of his loss today has left a void and a string of broken hearts across the Rosewood community -- a town full of people whose lives this young man has touched.

They are full of love today for a man who could have chosen to just serve his country and to take care of his family, but who, instead, decided to make a difference in his community and in the lives of as many young people as he could.

Those who knew him called him a true leader -- an example of the kind of man -- and airman -- everyone should be. They loved him, appreciated him and will miss him.

The news that he will not be coming home from Afghanistan was not easy for anyone to hear -- least of all the young boys to whom he was a hero, coach and friend. He left an imprint on their lives and on their hearts. They will miss him.

But those whose hearts are broken today can take comfort in the knowledge that someone who gave so much has left a legacy that will last forever.

Les Williams will be remembered for what he gave to others and the example he set for all of us -- of how to live your life with heart, purpose and conviction.

The next few days will not be easy for anyone.

Our hearts go out to Les Williams' family and friends as they struggle during this time of sorrow.

Published in Editorials on January 26, 2011 12:06 PM