Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Leroy Williams. Leroy served from 1947-1977.
Lacking the resources to attend college, Leroy chose to enlist with the United States Army on Aug. 8, 1947 and was sworn in at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. From Fort Jackson, Leroy was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he received basic and advanced training. There, Leroy became one of only ten soldiers in his training company to receive a meritorious promotion and assignment to Japan.
Leroy arrived in Japan on Feb. 8, 1948 and was assigned to the all-Black 24th Infantry Regiment. After serving and training in Japan for two and a half years, Leroy and the 24th Infantry Division received combat deployment orders for Pusan, Korea.
Upon arriving in Pusan, Leroy and his division waited several months for the 64th Heavy Tank Company to join them before being attached as a task force of the 25th Infantry Division and advancing north. Around Thanksgiving of 1950, Leroy and his division reached the front line, but were soon forced to withdraw due to encroaching Chinese forces. After making the withdrawal, Leroy and his division were ordered to regroup and launch a counter attack. The attack proved to be costly, resulting in the 24th Infantry Division sustaining substantial casualties.
Following the end of his combat deployment, Leroy was assigned to Fort Dix and later Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. He served at Camp Kilmer for two years before being assigned to Frankfort, Germany, where he served until 1956. Upon returning to the U.S., Leroy was assigned to the nuclear weapons plant at Savannah River Defense Site, South Carolina, where he served until 1960. From South Carolina, Leroy was assigned to Fort Gordon, Georgia, where he served until receiving orders for Vietnam in 1967. In Vietnam, Leroy served for two years in Pleiku with the 126th Finance Battalion.
After completing his tour in Vietnam, Leroy was assigned to several different bases across the U.S. and Europe before being assigned as first sergeant of the 501st Finance Company, 1st Army Division stationed in Germany.
Leroy retired from the Army on July 31, 1977 after nearly 30 years of service. Throughout his long service, Leroy received many promotions and commendations, including the Bronze Star. Following his retirement, Leroy began working at the Augusta Housing Authority, spending 20 years there before retiring as director of management in 1998.
Leroy passed on September 18, 2011 in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia.
We honor his service.
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic by Cynthia Tong: Cynthia is a senior at New York University studying Public Policy.