Wilson inducted into NYS Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame
Posthumously honored by Ranzenhofer at State Capitol ceremony
Albany, N.Y. – Staff Sergeant William R. “Billy” Wilson III has been inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Senator Ranzenhofer nominated Staff Sgt. Wilson, posthumously honoring him Tuesday morning at a State Capitol ceremony.
Staff Sgt. Wilson served on two combat deployments to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour of duty during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan, he was training Afghan soldiers and police to take over the country’s security. He was killed in action while in Paktika Province, located in the eastern part of Afghanistan, on March 26, 2012. He was 27 years old.
“Staff Sergeant Wilson had a passion to serve his community and country as an exceptional Squad Leader for the 2nd Platoon of the 172nd Separate Infrantry Brigade. He is a true American hero,” said Ranzenhofer. “It is due to his service, and his ultimate sacrifice, that has helped to make our community a better place to live. His meritorious service to our nation deserves the special recognition that only a Hall of Fame can provide, as a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration.”
According to Staff Sgt Wilson’s Battalion commander, Wilson distinguished himself among 600 soldiers as one of the two top squad leaders. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He also received the National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal; as well as the Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.
Staff Sgt. Wilson served as a squad leader for the 2nd Platoon of the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, headquartered in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Known as “Billy” to so many of his family and friends, he grew up in Getzville and graduated from Williamsville North High School in 2003. In 2005, Staff Sgt. Wilson enlisted in the United States Army to protect his fellow citizens. He completed Basic and Advanced training at Fort Knox, graduating five months later.
About the NYS Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame
The New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame honors and recognizes outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves in military and civilian life. Other inductees for the 61st District include: U.S. Marine Corp. Sergeant (ret.) Patrick Welch (2010); U.S. Army Commissioned Second Lieutenant Ronald J. Pilozzi (2011); and U.S. Marine Corp. Master Sergeant (ret.) Hal Kreter (2012).
About the 61st Senate District
The 61st Senate District encompasses: the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the Villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; all of Genesee County; and the Towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County.
Photo: Staff Sgt. Wilson’s parents, William and Kimberly Wilson, accept the honor on their son’s behalf. (From left to right: William Wilson, Kimberly Wilson, Senator Ranzenhofer)