GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) – The flag draped coffin of Army Staff Sgt. William Wilson III was brought into the Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville Friday, which was followed by his family and hundreds of friends and members of the community.
Army Staff Sergeant William Wilson III, or “Billy” as family and friends called him, was killed as he approached a police checkpoint in Eastern Afghanistan on March 26th.
Last Tuesday, his body was brought back to Western New York. He was greeted by hundreds of loved ones and other community supporters, including the Patriot Guard Riders. It was an emotional sight as people embraced over the loss of someone they’re calling a fallen hero.
Wilson was recognized posthumously by President Barack Obama with the highest military honors, including a Purple Heart and Bronze Star which were given to his parents.
Rev. Richard George noted that when he asked Wilson's parents to describe him in one word, they remarked "sincere."
Friends who spoke talked about Billy as someone who was beautiful, decent, and diligent. He was also described as generous, giving, and gracious.
During the service, remarks were made that the call to courage also includes sacrifice. Staff Sgt. William Wilson III made the ultimate sacrifice for our country while serving in Afghanistan.
He was remembered as a brave man with a sense of adventure, and as a loving friend, and son.
The community lined the streets with flags to show what Wilson’s service meant to them. Wilson’s family issued a statement shortly after his death:
“Our family was devastated this week to learn that our son, Staff Sergeant Billy Wilson, was lost in the War on Terror in Afghanistan. At this moment, our time and attention is committed to grieving our son and trying to find peace in a world which will never be the same without him,” the statement said.
Wilson was buried at Elmlawn Cemetery at Delaware and Brighton in Tonawanda with full military honors.
The staff of WKBW extends our sympathies to the Wilson family.