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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Army Staff Sgt. Briand T. Williams

Died November 22, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


25, of Sparks, Ga.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; died Nov. 22 in Numaniyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire.

‘He never looked for an easy way out’

The Associated Press

Briand Williams — known to his comrades as “Sergeant Will” — gave big hugs, and had an even bigger appetite, his mother said.

“When he’d come to visit me, he’d give me a big hug every time,” said his mother, Tonya Flippen. “And the first words that would come out of his mouth were, ‘What are you cooking me for dinner?’ ”

Williams, 25, of Sparks, Ga., was killed by an enemy sniper Nov. 22 in Numaniyah, Iraq. He was assigned to Fort Benning, Ga., and was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant.

The soldier enlisted in 2002 after graduating from Valdosta High School in Georgia. Flippen said her son was determined to be a career military man.

“His mission was to go into the military and retire. That was his job,” his mother said. “He died doing what he loved.”

Pvt. Wayland Waldrep said “Sergeant Will” was tough on him and the other soldiers, but only because he cared about them as a leader.

“He taught me how to be a better soldier and how to be on time,” Waldrep said. “He never looked for the easy way out to do what’s right for the situation. He was a good man.”

Williams also is survived by his wife, Atiyhia; a daughter, Briana; a son, Antonio Godbold; his father, Fred Williams Jr.; and a sister, Kyra Williams. His wife is pregnant with the couple’s third child.

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