Fallen Hickam Airman's Family Remembers Him

Michael Lester
Michael Lester

HONOLULU (KHNL) - He was just wrapping up a six-month deployment to Iraq and was weeks away from returning home to Hawaii.

Now we learn more about the young Hickam Airman killed in Iraq last week.

Senior Airman William Newman was known to everyone as Will. He's remembered as a man who volunteered for hazardous duty as an explosive ordinance disposal specialist. And his wife Soyong says she is proud of his sacrifice.

Will Newman met Soyung at a church picnic.

Married nearly 2 years, she describes her husband as a man of strong faith.

Soyung last spoke with Will the day before he died.

They both had looked forward to his homecoming just weeks away.

Now she cherishes memories collected in their scrapbook.

Father-in-law Michael Lester says Newman died saving others, "I told him don't take chances that you don't think you need to but if it comes to it, you need to do what you need to do and that's what he did. Talking to the General over there he believes will saved a lot of lives."

Newman lost his life disarming an explosive device.

"I know he was trying to remove an IED away from children and make it a safe area for them," says Lester.

Roadside bombs have killed countless U-S troops and civilians.

Newman volunteered for the hazardous job of explosive ordinance disposal says Lester, "He believes in the United States and his job like Soyung said that's the job he wants to do because if he is going to be in the military he wants to do a job that matters".

And what matters to his family is that you remember will they way they do. Michael Lester concludes,

"He was great person great husband and a hero and he believed in what he was doing."