World War II could not deter Arthur Williams from supporting his - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

World War II could not deter Arthur Williams from supporting his mom

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SHREVEPORT, La - Arthur Williams was left to support his mother when he was in the seventh grade.  At age 18 came his draft notice, and he was off to World War II.  But he was still helping his mom because all his pay went to her.  They would reunite three years later, though their time together was tragically cut short.

The Japanese fought hard to hold onto the Philippine islands, shelling Williams and the allies.

"I didn't think I was going to get back, tell you the truth," he says.
Williams was hunkered down in a foxhole when he wasn't resupplying front line troops with ammo.  The carnage of troops and civilians was tough to look at.

"Their arms shot off. Legs cut off. It was a mess," Williams remembers.  "But I had to hang in there.  I couldn't give up."

Williams came home after the war, went back to his job as a machinest for a roofing company, and back to supporting his mother.

"She ran to me and grabbed me and hugged me and kissed me. Boy, that was one of the happiest moments in my life," Williams remembers of their reunion.  "I know how hard she had struggled to try to take care of me to bring me up so I could take care of her. You understand? So I did. Until she died."
He'd been home less than a year.  Williams was returning home from work late one night when he saw it -- the fire.

The home was on fire that he shared with his mother,his child and another child his mother was raising.  All three died.

"You talk about a pill to swallow, that was a tough pill to swallow. I mean I lost everything I had but what I had on my back," Williams says.

He rebuilt a home on the property in the Lakeview area of Shreveport.  Williams has lived there with his wife of 65 years.  Though his mother and child were taken, Williams says he's blessed by what he has.

"The love of God in my heart. And He give me wisdom and experience.  That's three things. You couldn't get that in classroom," WWilliamssays with a hearty laugh.  "God have to give it you. And can't nobody take it!"

And one other thing.  Williams says he's old fashioned, believing in hard work and self reliance.  And he thanks his mom for raising him that way.

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