A sendoff for a South Georgia sailor - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A sendoff for a South Georgia sailor

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January 31, 2007

Albany--  President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq continues to get a lot of criticism. Polls show most Americans oppose the plan but loyal troops continue to serve in Iraq. There aren't many members of the Navy there but one south Georgia sailor volunteered to serve on the ground in Iraq.

It's a family meal before a brave move. "I'm just glad we could all be here together," said Jim Williams, Jr.

They're together to honor Jim Williams, Jr. The 23-year-old joined the military about 4 years ago on a whim.

"I really didn't have nothing else to do. It was like a last resort," said Williams. That last resort has allowed him to see tons of places in his short career in the Navy.

"I've been to Greece, Italy, Antigua," said Williams. But he's never been to another place, Iraq.  It's a place Williams actually volunteered to go, again on a whim.  That's Jim.

"It was a spur of the moment thing. My Senior Chief came in and asked who I wanted to go and I said I'd go," said Williams.

The sell wasn't as easy for his parents. "I really don't want him to go," said Susie Williams.

"I didn't believe it. I couldn't believe it because I really don't feel he knows what he's getting in to," said Jim Williams, Sr.

Jim Williams, Sr. finds it hard to believe that his son would actually volunteer to venture to Iraq at a pivotal time in the conflict but he still stands behind his decision.

"We're going to support him. We're going to support him in any way we can," said Williams, Sr.

"Just keep him up in prayer, that he will go and come back safely," said Susie Williams. And as they send him off with hugs, that's this Navy man's goal also, to make it back home. That, and to make a difference while gone.

"I know it's going to be an experience that I'll never forget," said Williams. He'll never forget family either.

"I don't know when's the next time we'll get together like this," said Williams. So he's thankful for this time and hopes to experience it again a year from now when he's saying hello and not goodbye.

Williams will leave for Fort Jackson, South Carolina on the 5th. He'll train there before heading to Kuwait and then to Iraq.

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