Enoch Williams served his country for 30 years in the United States Army. Williams was drafted in 1961 and made it through the Berlin airlift crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and many other conflicts without ever having seen the battlegrounds in any of those events.
One might think after serving 30 years, giving of their time day after day would be the last thing on a 30-year veteran’s mind. Not so with Enoch Williams. Williams is a man about Jackson County, always looking for ways he can help anyone in the community. Williams has a special place in his heart for veterans and continually strives to make their lives better any way he can.
This past week, after 20 years of being a very active member in the Disabled American Veterans Jackson County Chapter #22, Williams was presented the 2018 Veteran of the Year Award. Commander Leon Kelly.
The award could not go to a more deserving individual than Williams. Through all those conflicts, Williams was there supporting the troops with research and development to keep them supplied and organized for warfare. In 1969, Enoch got his orders and was headed to Vietnam but at the very same time, President Nixon had ordered a cutback in troops and his free trip to Southeast Asia was cancelled. Williams was good Army material and the officers knew it, making him a Staff Sergeant in 1967.
About his decision to stay in the Army, Williams says, “The retirement and other benefits offered by the federal government were pretty good. My only other skills were bus driving and farming.” Enoch was born on August 30, 1937 to farmers Benjamin and Sylvia Williams in the Springfield Community north of Marianna off State Road 73. He graduated high school at Jackson County Training School in 1957. He was in the first graduating class at the buildings and campus now known as Marianna Middle School. He married his high school sweetheart Tommie Harrington in 1965.
Today Enoch Williams is a long-standing and active member of the Disabled American Veterans. He has spoken often about his concerns for the assistance to disabled veterans who have not been successful in obtaining benefits they deserve. William said of some of the assistance the local Jackson County DAV Chapter offers, “We assist veterans with formulating a plan, getting the information that some of them can’t get. The Disabled Veterans will represent an individual all the way to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in Washington, D.C. without any costs. I know it works because it has worked for me. These are just some of the things we support. In addition to the local chapter, we help the national chapter. We assist all branches of service. We have service officers that go out in the bushes and do things that another service officer can’t do. We go down to bridges and find the homeless, assist them in finding shelter and if we have one that doesn’t know how to get his benefits to go to college, we will assist them with getting those applications filed. If I stood up here and told you what all we do not just local, but national I would take up more than these three minutes.” For his plea to the city, letting them know the how desperate some of our veterans are, the Marianna City Commission gave $500 to this worthwhile program. This is just one of many accomplishments Enoch Williams is responsible for in Jackson County. Williams gives freely of his time day in and day out, most especially to our veterans, validating once more why Enoch Williams is the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22 Veteran of the Year.
Congratulations to a well-deserved honor from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.