PLATTSBURGH, New York — Lieutenant Commander Randall G. Williams, U.S. Navy (Ret), 41, of Jerry Drive, died Thursday, January 10, 2002, at the CVPH Medical Center after a five year struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), a condition that government agencies have recently attributed to being connected with service in the Persian Gulf War.
Randy was born in Rochester, New York, on September 4, 1960, and spent his childhood in Plattsburgh.
He attended local schools, graduated from Mount Assumption in 1978 and St. Lawrence University in 1982. Commander Williams was commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1984 and served as a surface warfare officer until his medical retirement in 1998.
In November, 1990, as tensions in the Middle East escalated into the Gulf War, Commander Williams was selected to serve onboard the Commander Middle East Forces flagship as the First Lieutenant. It was in this capacity that he spent several weeks ashore after having been helicoptered into the port of Kuwait City on the day of liberation. He was decorated with the Combat Action Ribbon for his duty in Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf during Desert Storm. Commander Williams attended the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California, where he earned a masters degree in National Security Affairs.
He was then assigned as Strategic Policy Officer for the Commander, Joint U. S. Military Assistance Group in Seoul, South Korea, from 1993 to 1995. Chosen to attend the Royal Australian Naval Staff College in Sydney, Australia, he spent a year studying joint military affairs with a select group of international military officers.
Following this, Randy Williams was selected as the Executive Officer of the USS FORT FISHER San Diego, where he was serving at the time of his retirement.
His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, with two gold stars, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Medal, Southwest Asia Medal, with two Bronze Stars, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal and marksmanship ribbons.
Randy is survived by his wife, Hyun Ju Williams; a daughter, Nicole Williams; and his mother, Sylvia Russell all of Plattsburgh. He is also survived by two brothers, Stephen Williams of Norfolk, Virginia, and Charles Williams of Albany, New York; two nieces, Alexandra Williams and Carolyn Williams; several aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was predeceased by his father, Stephen Williams.
Randy will be remembered for his love and loyalty to his family, friends and country. He turned his sacrifice into an example of dignity and honor, a code
by which he lived and died.
The family will travel to Arlington, Virginia, where a group of friends and shipmates will Join them for Commander Williams' service and burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard