Town honors first fallen marine from Iraq war - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Town honors first fallen marine from Iraq war

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A South Georgia city is mourning the loss of a son, a father, and a soldier.

Staff Sergeant Briand Williams was scheduled to return home from Iraq in December, but last month his family received the news that no military family wants to hear.

Hundreds turned out today to honor and remember the fallen soldier. SSgt Briand Williams' family couldn't hold back the tears at his funeral as they remember him alive just a few weeks ago.

Enemy fire killed Williams November 22 while fighting in Iraq. As family and friends remember Williams, his mom Tonya Flippen will never forget his loyalty.

"Remember him as a soldier and becoming a man," Flippen said. "I will remember my son as my son and a hero."

So many friends and family attended the funeral they had to move it from a local church to Cook Middle School.

Patriot Guard Riders participated in the motorcade. They honor heroes like Williams who risk their lives for our freedom.

"For him to put his life on the line and not come back-that's what we're here for to support him and his family," said Assistant State Caption of Southwest Georgia Todd Moyer with the Patriot Guard Riders.

As cars drive from the funeral to the cemetery, the whole town of Adel stands near the street to show their respect.

"I wish there were more people on the street to pay tribute to heroes and others like him," said Chris Newbern who was one of many supporting Williams.

Hundreds of loved ones pay tribute at his grave. The Honor Guard dedicates an American flag to William's family and a bible to his daughter Brianna Williams.

"He was a great dad and I loved him very much," Brianna said.

Mrs. Williams says she believes God doesn't make mistakes and she knows her son died doing what he loved and that was saving lives.

Williams wrestled and played football at Cook County High School. His wife is expecting a baby boy in January.


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