Sgt. William Wilson III

Those who remembered Army Staff Sgt. William “Billy” Wilson III say he did not make friends, he made family.  That is how one person described the fallen soldier Friday at his emotional funeral service at the Chapel at Crosspoint.

Wilson was killed in Afghanistan on March 26, 2012.

 At the funeral service , dozens of flags were visible at the Chapel, and across Getzville, to honor the sacrifice of a local fallen soldier.

It was an emotional sight as the body of Army Staff Sgt. William Wilson III was brought into the Crosspoint Chapel to be laid to rest.

Richard Capote, a friend of Wilson said, “Billy’s caring personality, love of life, and all things fun and exciting and his complete selflessness, and fearlessness, made this loss one that impacted an entire community.”

Hundreds of people from all over the world gathered at the Chapel to honor Army Staff Sergeant Wilson, or “Billy” as his friends and family called him.

Three close friends spoke at the service, calling him a “fallen hero,” saying he was not only committed to his country, but to God and those he loved.

Richard Capote continued saying, “I take comfort in knowing he died doing something he loved.”

Josh Wilson added, “I’m truly grateful to have him in my life, and your family in my life.  You truly raised a remarkable man, and I’m grateful to have him in my life.”

Many talked about his service and what it meant to the community of Getzville, where Sgt. Wilson grew up, and what his sacrifice meant to the country.

Kelly Prynn, a family friend told Eyewitness News, “He was just a great guy.  He was always there for his family, and he gave our country his life.”

Patriot Guard riders, a group who supports military families, was on hand at the service, with flags in hand.

Patriot Guard Joseph Shiah said, “We’re really here to show support of the family, and show them that the are not the only ones fighting this war.”

Army Staff Sgt. Wilson was not only remembered by those who knew him, but he was also honored by the military, receiving the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.  The medals were presented to his family at the service.

After the service, family and friends headed to the Elmlawn Cemetery in Tonawanda, escorted by dozens of local fire companies.

Many say they are not mourning his death, but celebrating an accomplished life of Army Staff Sgt. William Wilson III.