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Getzville Native Killed in Afghanistan

12:56 PM, Apr 4, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - A fallen WNY soldier has returned home.

The body of Army Staff Sgt. William Wilson, III arrived in Buffalo Tuesday morning.

WEB EXTRAClick here to see a photo gallery of the ceremony at the airport.

The 27-year-old Army squad leader from Getzville was shot by Afghan security forces.

His father says he was notified of his son's death on Monday, Mach 27th by Army officials.

Sgt. Wilson's family traveled to Dover Air Force in Delaware last week, where they received their son's body.

A plane carrying Wilson's body touched down at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport shortly before 11 am Tuesday, where a military guard removed the flag draped coffin, and carried it to a nearby hearse.

A procession including sixty members of the Patriot Guard Riders and members of the Getzville Fire Company then escorted the hearse to an Amherst funeral home where friends from far and wide gathered to mourn.

Army Sgt. Michael Morgan, who said Wilson was his best buddy in basic training, traveled here from his home near Knoxville, Tennessee.

 "If I had to walk up here I would have. He was the best friend I ever had, and no one will ever compare to Billy," he said.

Staff Sgt. Christopher Ashworth of New Orleans was a fellow squad leader in Wilson's unit in Afghanistan, and was allowed leave to come to Buffalo  to attend the funeral as the unit representative.

Ashworth says he was near where Wilson was shot by members of an Afghan security team.  But he didn't care to talk about his friend died....only how he lived.

"He never tired. He was always training, always loved to train soldiers, he was always there for his soldiers even after hours at work before we deployed. He lived and breathed the army," Ashworth told WGRZ-TV. 

Click on the video player to watch our story from Two On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Bob Mancuso.

Calling hours for Sgt. William Wilson, III will be held Wednesday, April 4th and Thursday, April 5th from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Amigone Funeral Home in Amherst. Funeral services will be held Friday, April 6th at 10 a.m. at the Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville.

Sgt. Wilson was a graduate of Williamsville North High School.

According to his facebook page, the soldier attended Williamsville North High School and was recently home from duty. On March 12th, Sgt. Wilson posted:

"Just wanted to thank all the fam and friends back home for a great time on leave. Sorry I wasn't able to see some, but i'll catch you next time. Really had a blast and looking forward to the summer. Thanks! Slowly making my way back to the boys!"

The photo on this page is also from Sgt. Wilson's facebook page.

His father's message to the Western New York community was brief but powerful: "thank you for your prayers."

If you would like to send your condolence to the family, please click here.

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