Hickam Airman Awarded Bronze Star

(KHNL) - A Hickam Airman killed in Iraq is remembered Wednesday as a hero and is awarded several military honors including the prestigious bronze star for heroism.

Hundreds honor the memory of Sr. Airman William Newman at the base chapel.

Chaplain Dave DePinho was based in Iraq with Newman, "Today the loss of a husband, a friend, and a comrade in arms is grieved."

Lt. Col David Maharrey believes, "Will is a hero to all of us. Not just for his sacrifice that we honor here to day but also for all the lives he saved performing explosive ordinance disposal."

E-O-D technicians put their lives on the line each day. Maharrey adds, "Will was one of the brave, one of the courageous, one of the dedicated airman committed to making a difference." On the day he died, he volunteered to remove projectiles away from civilians but one exploded. Newman's partner still in Iraq sends this message.

Msgt. Al Schneider reads an e-mail from Newman's partner, "I was Will's teammate here in Iraq. I was 30 feet away from my best friend, Will, when he was killed."

Off-duty Newman studied the Korean language and took college classes. He had a strong faith and his wife Soyung was his first love.

Maharrey concludes, "Will had incredible character and a total commitment to God and his family, his unit, his Air Force and his nation."