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Honoring Our Heroes

Master Sergeant Paul Robert Williamson: Age 75

Maser Sergeant (MSgt) Paul Robert Williamson served 22 years in the United States Marine Corps. His Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was Cobol Programmer and Small Computer Systems Specialist. Prior to these, his MOS included Field Radio Operator, Communications and Recruiting.

MSgt Williamson is a highly decorated Marine who demonstrated great valor and received two Purple Hearts while serving in Vietnam. In addition, he received the following decorations, medals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons: Navy Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation, Gallantry Cross of Color with palm, Certificate of Appreciation, Sea Service Deployment with one star, Navy Unit Commendation, Letter of Appreciation, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Action Color, 1st Class with palm, Rifle Expert Badge and Good Conduct Medal with one silver star.

MSgt Willamson was born May 14, 1948 to his parents, Robert and Nettie Williamson, at Cincinnati, Ohio. At age 17, he enlisted in the U.S Marines in August 1965. He completed Basic Training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, CA, followed by assignment to Camp Pendleton, CA, where he was attached to Bravo Company 1st Battalion 26th Marine Regiment. After completing training, his unit B Co 1/26 was sent to Vietnam as Battalion Landing Team, BLT 1/26 on board the USS IWO Jima (LPH-2), an amphibious assault ship. Next, he was assigned to the coastal city of Da Nang, Vietnam, as a field radio operator for six months with Bravo 1/26.

While assigned to the 26thMarines, he participated in combat operations Deckhouse III and IV, Shasta, Mississippi and Independence. He then served for six months with B Co. Battalion 9th Marine Regiment in Quan Tri Province in the interior of Vietnam near the DMZ. There he participated in combat operations Prairie II, III, and IV, Hickory, Cimarron and Buffalo, Hickory II and Kingfisher. He was injured twice with shrapnel resulting in the awarding of two Purple Hearts. Each time after injuries, he returned to combat.

After his Vietnam deployment, he and his wife, Janet, were married in September 1967, and he was sent to Camp Lejune, N.C., working with radio communications for six months. Next, he served in the Mediterranean Sea for six months on the USS Cambria (APA-36), an attack transport ship, and then he returned to Camp LeJeune. He left the Marines for three years and then reenlisted in 1972. After returning to active duty, he was twice promoted meritoriously to the next rank. He returned to Camp LeJeune working as a radio operator, and while there, he was assigned to collegiate studies and completed his Associate Degree at Coastal Carolina Community College. Next, he served at Okinawa, Japan, for thirteen months. He then completed training at the Recruiting School at MCRD San Diego. He served as a Marine recruiter at Erie, PA for two and a half years. He was then assigned to collegiate studies and graduated from Edinboro University with a B.A. Degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration in 1979. MSgt Williamson was then assigned to the Leadership Instruction Department at Quantico, VA, and served as an instructor. Next, he attended Cobol programming school and worked as a COBOL programmer until 1982 when he was sent to 3rd FSSG on Okinawa as the Information Systems Management Office Chief (ISMO Chief).

In 1983, he was assigned as an instructor at Computer Sciences School at Quantico VA. During his off-duty time at the school, he completed studies, and he received a Master's Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1985. MSgt Williamson retired from military service in 1989.

MSgt Williamson worked three years for Burroughs Inc., a business machine company between his two periods of Marine service. When he retired from military service, he then worked with Hilldrup Moving and Storage Company at Quantico, VA, for twenty years retiring as Vice President of Information Systems in 2010.

MSgt Williamson and his wife, Janet, have been married for 56 years, and they have two sons who have served in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. Their grandson is currently serving in the Air Force at Albuquerque, NM. At Montgomery, AL, they are members of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church. She enjoys painting and is active in a community new-comers organization and at her church. She worked for 25 years with the Marine Corps at Quantico, VA, as a civilian. In the past, they have enjoyed boating. He enjoys playing golf and wood-working with furniture and bowl turning. MSgt Williamson is a life-time member of three military veterans' organizations, namely, the Townsend Detachment #920 U.S. Marine Corps League. the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the American Legion.

MSgt Williamson's conclusions about his service as a Marine in the U.S. Military are: "Being in the Marines helped me grow up. It taught me discipline, responsibility and loyalty. It encouraged me to stay in condition physically." He would like people to remember him as a United States Marine.


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