KANSAS CITY - Tom Williams is no stranger to the military. His father, retired committeeman and skilled tradesman from Ford after 33 years, served his country as a combat driver in the Army.
He has followed in his father’s footsteps somewhat, serving in not just one but two branches of the military. At the ripe age of 18, Williams had no doubt he wanted to go into the Marine Corps.
“I always wanted to be in the military and do something bigger than myself,” he says when asked why he initially decided to serve.
He knew that the sacrifice would be big, but he was focused on helping others. Williams served during Desert Storm and, even though he was not deployed during this time, he trained many men and women who went over to Desert Storm.
After serving in the Marines for 4 ½ years, Williams got out and landed a job the Ford St. Louis plant. He was placed in stock, and was in the position for the last 18 years.
After he met his wife, Angela (at the plant), they were transferred with their family to Kansas City, and Williams soon decided it was time to re-enlist.
This time, he decided to go into the National Guard in order to still hold his job and stay close to family. In the National Guard, Williams serves one weekend a month and two weeks a year.
He is a combat driver, which means he drives the trucks outfitted with guns. In addition, Williams is also a combat engineer, which means he helps to find explosives and destroy them. In May of 2011, he was deployed to Shindand, Afghanistan for a year tour.
During his time in Afghanistan, he was stationed with fellow Ford employee Seymore Billings, who used to work at the Kansas City Assembly Plant before transferring to Louisville with the Ford Escape.
Now that Williams is back in Kansas City, he enjoys spending time with his family and catching up after being away for a year. “I like to fish and hunt with my daughters and just spend time with family,” he says. “We’re homebodies.”
Tom, thank you for your continued service to our country! We greatly appreciate your sacrifice and that of your family, as well.