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Army Spc. Dennis M. Williams

Died August 25, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Federal Way, Wash.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Aug. 25 in Sha Wali Kot, Afghanistan of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Capt. John L. Hallett III, Capt. Cory J. Jenkins and Sgt. 1st Class Ronald W. Sawyer.

Wash. soldier among 4 killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

FORT LEWIS, Wash. — The Army says a 24-year-old soldier from Federal Way, Wash., was among four members of a Fort Lewis-based Stryker brigade who were killed in southern Afghanistan.

Killed Tuesday was Pfc. Dennis M. Williams. Fort Lewis says Williams enlisted in Seattle in October 2007. This was his first deployment.

Also killed were: 30-year-old Capt. John L. Hallett III of California; 30-year-old Capt. Cory J. Jenkins of Arizona; and 38-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Ronald W. Sawyer, 38, of Trenton, Mo.

All died of wounds suffered when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device.

They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Followed father’s footsteps into Army

The Associated Press

Dennis Williams, pictured in his military uniform with a serious, stoic look, was really “mischief” and a clown around his family, said his grandmother Kathy Anderson.

He was helpful, too, she said.

“Denny always put up my Christmas lights,” she said, choking back tears after her grandson’s death. “I’m so confused, I don’t hardly know my own name.”

Williams, 24, of Federal Way, Wash., and three others were killed Aug. 25 when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in Afghanistan. He was based at Fort Lewis, Wash.

When he left for deployment a month ago, he told his grandmother he might never see her again.

Anderson remembers responding, “Denny don’t be silly.”

Williams graduated from Federal Way High School in 2003. Before enlisting in October 2007, he was a security guard at a building in Seattle.

“He was very proud of that job,” his older brother David Williams said. “He looked sharp in his uniform. That’s when it started to grind on him.”

It was then that Dennis Williams decided to serve in the military, his brother said. Williams’ father had been in the Army and his grandfather was a Marine.

“We had him about talked out of it 10 times,” David Williams said. “But he went. He wanted to provide for his wife and kids.”

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