Pvt. Trey Williams

Shelbyville graduate Pvt. Spec. 4 Trey Williams looks over the rugged terrain of Tal Afar, Iraq he was assigned to patrol in April of this year.

Shelbyville High School graduate, Pvt. Specialist 4 Trey Williams was recently recommended for the Combat Action Badge for his actions in a rocket attack to their base camp in Ramadi, Iraq. In his first letter home to his parents, Chuck and Diane Williams, Trey talks about the events of that day, April 9, 2006.

Williams writes, “I was attached to Battle Company for 4 days to distribute fuel to their vehicles. On this day at about 1700 (5:00 p.m.), the front gate was attacked with a rocket. The rocket was a U.S. made 82mm rocket. I was approximately 45 meters from the gate when this attack occurred. After it happened, I went inside the facility there and donned my vest and helmet and went back out into the motor pool to help move a truck that was in the path from the gate to the aid station.”

Williams said that after he moved the truck, “I then helped to carry a teenage boy who had been outside of the gate playing and was subsequently wounded by the attack.” Williams added that the boy was initially carried by a “hysterical man” who continued to help carry the boy after he was placed onto a litter. “The litter was not… completely assembled when we started to carry the boy to the aid station.” At this point, Williams turns his attention to the plight of a fellow soldier who had also been shot. “I also saw a US soldier walk from the gate to the aid station with a wound to his neck that was bleeding profusely.” Williams called this an “amazing sight” because the soldier “had no fear in his eyes.”

Williams’s first letter came on April 6, just three days before the rocket incident. He wrote, “On 6 Apr 06, I fired a warning shot at a car. It was a red sedan coming at the convoy at a high rate of speed. The problem was that one of the warning shots went into the car and hit the driver. The bullet didn’t actually hit the driver, it was shrapnel that was caused by the round because 50 caliber is huge. After I had shot at the car it continued on at a high rate of speed, so the next gun truck back had to [shoot] another warning shot at it.”

Trey said this was the first time in this deployment that that a support platoon soldier had opened fire and hit someone. Williams said it was interesting that, “when you shoot at another person, you don’t hear the rounds being fired. But if another person shoots, the sound of that shot is highly amplified.”

When Trey Williams graduated from Shelbyville High School in 2003, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. He had already pre-enlisted with the Army in July of ‘02 with the stated desire to learn to operate tanks. Trey finished his senior year and went straight into the Army in July of 2003. At Ft. Knox, KY, Williams completed his basic training and went on to tank operation. Williams then spent another year training new enlistees before being stationed in Germany. Williams arrived in Germany in March of ’05 as part of an armor division. While there, he trained on Humvees and other trucks.

In January of ‘06 he went to Kuwait for three weeks and there he learned to drive a fuel truck. On February ’06 Trey was sent to Tal Afar, Iraq where he did guard duty, worked in the motor pool and drove a Humvee. Williams arrived in Ramadi, Iraq in May of ’06 as part of the 4th Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division and was finally able to apply his tank driving skills in the rugged terrain of the Middle East.

Although Trey is able to communicate with his family via the Internet, he rarely writes. Diane Williams said, “He calls once every two to three weeks to let us know how he is doing, but in Ramadi he hardly has any free time. This is the first letter I have received from him.”

Diane Williams took the letter with her to the 4-H Fair to show some friends, but the wind blew it from her hand and into a goat pen where it was partially eaten before she could get it back. Fortunately, the goat only nibbled the edges and spared the middle, leaving the text intact. Diane Williams had wisely made another copy… just in case.

Diane said she had not been so worried about Trey being in Iraq until her daughter Cassy’s husband, Kevin Spangler, was injured while on patrol. Diane recalled, “Kevin was flying out of Iraq to the hospital in Germany as Trey was going into Iraq. It happened on the same day. So now I am more concerned that I probably would have been.” Kevin and Cassy Spangler are currently at the base in Colorodo Springs, CO while he is awaiting another surgery. (Daily Union “Spangler Returns,” March 15, 2006).

It was no secret to his family and friends that Trey wanted to join the Army. His desire to serve his country was always a subject of conversation. Trey writes that the sound of gunfire "Does not bother me," but he regrets that in a hostile country it is a daily struggle to determine friend from foe. Williams concluded, “in this war, the line between combatant and noncombatant is sometimes a matter of situation.”

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