In October, Sgt. J.D. Williams from Harrison lost an arm and both legs in a land mine explosion in Afghanistan. This Sunday he’s going to escort his sister Tori as she graduates from Ennis High School.
“We were always hoping he could come home for it,” said Williams’ mother Danielle Rudzinski.
After operations and months of recovery, Williams continues to improve and his spirits remain high, Rudzinski said.
He took his first steps on prosthetic legs March 16, his wedding anniversary.
Williams is still at Fort Sam Houston in Texas and will be brought back to Madison County by a private jet arranged for by the Wounded Warriors program.
Since he was wounded, the outpouring of support from communities around Madison County and Montana has been overwhelming, Rudzinski said.
“The benefits and the fundraisers and the donations were awesome,” she said.
The money raised allowed Williams’ family to travel to Texas and stay with him during the early part of his recovery. Rudzinski was there for three months.
“We were able to bring all the family down there for Christmas,” she said.
The letters of support from local school children were particularly moving for him.
“They were overwhelming and they were so wonderful to read and they really gave him a boost of confidence,” Rudzinski said. “It really kept him going.”
Williams will arrive in Montana on Friday. He’ll be stopping in Anaconda and at Harrison School before coming to Ennis, she said.
The Sportsman’s Lodge has donated a handicap accessible room for him while he’s here.
“He wants to say thank you to everybody too,” Rudzinski said.
Williams and his family are happy to have him back in Montana if only for a week.
“He might not have been here and we’re just so thankful he is coming home,” she said.