GETZVILLE, N.Y. ( WKBW ) The body of Staff Sergeant William Wilson III returned home to Western New York Tuesday.
A solemn transfer happened at Prior Aviation when a private jet arrived with his flag draped casket. Family, friends, and the Patriot Guard were present in honor of Wilson, before a motorcade moved quickly to bring the casket to Amigone Funeral Home on Sheridan Drive.
A funeral service will be held 10a.m. Friday at the Chapel at CrossPoint in Getzville. The family will be present at Amigone Funeral Home at 5200 Sheridan Drive at Hopkins Wednesday and Thursday 2 - 4p.m. and 7 - 9p.m.
The family of Staff Sergeant Billy Wilson released a statement obtained by Eyewitness News, thanking the community for the the outpouring of support since Wilson made the ultimate sacrifice for our country last week while serving in Afghanistan.
Here is the text of the statement:
"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 can never be the same without him.
As many of you know, Billy’s life was marked by a willingness to put others before himself, to pursue duty over comfort, and to do what was right even when it was not convenient. At a time when old-fashioned virtues seem cliché and traditional values feel empty, our son’s life showed that they have meaning still. His decency, his courage, his loyalty and his patriotism are a reminder that our family, and indeed our nation, could do no better than Billy.
And of course, while we honor him for the values he represented, we remember Billy also, more simply, as our son. We remember his easy smile, his disarming demeanor, his hearty laugh and his contagious joy. We remember the kindness and glowing example he provided his brothers Jeremy and Wesley, the tenderness and compassion he showed his fiancé Jess, and the pride and happiness he brought us as parents.
Finally, we are deeply moved by the outpouring of support, friendship and love we have received in the past week. We would like to thank the community, whose enduring and overwhelming support furnish a powerful reminder of the countless lives which Billy touched. In the days to come, further details will be provided regarding funeral arrangements.
We will soon bid Billy a final farewell, and mourn a life tragically cut short. But we know that the memory of his life, and appreciation of his sacrifice, will not soon fade. We remain deeply grateful for your prayers and support, as our son makes his final journey back home."
*In lieu of flowers, donations for the benefit of Billy Wilson’s family can be sent to the Grashow Long Law Offices
Army Sgt. William R. Wilson III, 27, of Getzville, was killed in Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan security force, Wilson's father told Eyewitness News.
The dignified transfer of Army Staff Sgt. William R. Wilson took place as a U.S. Army carry team transferred the remains of Army Staff Sgt. William R. Wilson III, of Getzville, N.Y., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., March 28, 2012. Wilson was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Grafenwoehr, Germany.
Wilson was in Paktika Province in the eastern part of the country.
Billy, as his family calls him, was training Afghan soldiers and police who will take over the country's security when U.S. completely withdraw from the country by 2014.
An update on funeral services is expected shortly.
Wilson enlisted in the Army in 2005. He graduated from Williamsville High School in 2003. Wilson was recently home visiting family in Western New York and had just returned to the battle zone before his death