Governor Cuomo ordered all state flags be flown at half staff Monday, honoring Getzville native Army Staff Sergeant William Wilson III.

What can you say when you are speaking to a man who just lost his son fighting for our Country? I imagine even the best poets and scholars struggle with that. Someone asked me once if it is easier to lose someone quickly or after a long illness? The truth is it is never easy. After both of my parents passed away and even after so many close friends have passed you would think it would be easier to deal with loss.

I never met Staff Sgt. William  Wilson. I don’t know what his voice sounded like and until the  photos on the news appeared, I didn’t know what he looked like. However, when I heard the news, I felt the same way I do every time I lose someone close to me. From sad to mad to asking why, all of the emotions were there.

The 27-year-old Army squad leader from Getzville was shot by Afghan security forces.He was a graduate of Williamsville North High School.This man, this brave soldier grew up in the same area I did. He listened to the same stations and watched the same TV news and even drove the same roads I do. We never spoke on the phone, never went to the same school, we weren’t friends on Facebook. But thinking about the great sacrifice that he made for me to be safe and free, how can you not feel connected? This guy (like many other brave men and woman) decided to take up a call of duty. He gave his life for not only us but for others in a country he had never been to prior to being in the service!!!!

I guess my point is that when you are faced with a mom or dad, brother or sister or grandparent or friend that has lost a loved one to war or other duty defending our freedom, all you can say is THANK YOU! Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for raising a man so brave and so strong and so courageous that even though he doesn’t know the faces or names of the people he is protecting, he still answered the call of duty.

My thoughts and prayers to all who knew Staff Sgt. William Wilson.