Veteran returns home

A Wapakoneta resident serving his country in the Middle East says he has a strong feeling of accomplishment after returning last week from northern Afghanistan.

“We were given a job and we did it,” 1st Lt. Lyle Williams said. “Personally I felt we did a good job serving our country. It felt good to do the job we were given. It gives you a strong sense of accomplishment.”

The 37-year-old reported with his unit, the Army National Guard Unit Alpha Company 37 Corp of Engineers, last October. Williams, who spent one year during his first tour,  worked in maintenance at an Army base in northern Afghanistan and provided security. While he expressed leaving family members is never enjoyable, Williams said he was just happy to be home and back with his wife and three children.

“We were very fortunate while we were there,” Williams said. “Thank goodness for a pretty quiet tour. We did not encounter a lot of problems. It was a pretty boring tour in that way.”

Wiliams, who comes from a family with a history of service to their country, said his grandfather was in the Army Air Corps and his father was member of the U.S. Air Force.

Williams could not reveal much information of his tour in Afghanistan because of security reasons, but he said he now plans to enjoy some time with family. They are leaving soon to enjoy a family vacation.

Williams said he was also thankful for technology as he was able to keep in constant touch with his family and friends in the United States.

“You have the ability to Skype, but that isn’t always the most efficient way,” Williams said, “but we corresponded a lot by phone, and there were lots of e-mails.”

While it was his first tour in Afghanistan, the St. Marys unit made several trips there. He said while soldiers were able to correspond with loved ones back home, it does not take from the emotions a person goes through when finally see family and frieds again.

“It was very emotional,” Williams said. “It was a solid year. There isn’t a much else you can say about it when you see them again. Its hard to describe.”

Williams returned to a large contingent of friends and family at the airport, and was honored by the Wapakoneta VFW Color Guard in front of his house when he returned home.

“I am very thankful for the VFW post here,” Williams said.