Honored posthumously during a medal ceremony at Granger Community Church
GRANGER, IN – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski today presented the mother and daughter of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jesse Williams with one of the military’s highest honors, the Purple Heart award, for his honorable service, including assignments during his deployment to Afghanistan.
An Elkhart native, Williams was killed in the line of duty in December 2013, when he and his fellow soldiers were involved in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Williams was deployed three times, once to Iraq from 2007 to 2008, twice to Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011, and in July 2013.
“Staff Sgt. Williams represents the best of the United States. Not just our military, but who we are, and why we are so proud to be Americans,” said Walorski, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “Williams was a citizen soldier whose bravery should be a model for us all. He continually stepped forward and answered the call. Both he and his family understand what sacrifice means and I cannot thank them enough for his service to our country.”
Walorski was joined at the ceremony by Veteran Service Officer Ron Lundy, Elkhart Superior Judge Evan Roberts and Pastor Mark Waltz from Granger Community Church.
Williams attended Elkhart Central High School and in 2006, completed the U.S. Army basic training course. For the past six years, he worked in the electronics warfare shop, graduated from Air Assault School and traveled around the world completing assignments for the U.S. Army.
A Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the U.S. armed forces wounded, killed or who has died after being wounded. The medal is the oldest military award that is still given to members of the U.S. military, dating back to the later years of the Revolutionary War and was originally designed as the Badge of Military Merit.