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UPDATED: Murrieta Army Sgt. Killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. Eric E. Williams, 27, of Murrieta, died Monday, July 23 in Pul-E Alam, Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S. Department of Defense announced today.

This post was last updated at 5:45 p.m July 24:

A U.S. Army sergeant from Murrieta was killed in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense reported today.

Sgt. Eric E. Williams, 27, of Murrieta, Calif. died Monday, July 23, in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan, Logar Province, just south of Kabul, a news release stated.

Williams, a paratrooper and special forces operative was deployed with the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

A flight medic for the Army, Williams kept up a blog that he started in 2008. According to his last blog post dated July 17, he was to be heading home soon.

"This deployment is coming to an end, in a few days we will be on a plane back to the United States to rejoin our family and friends and to try to readjust to a certain semblance of what we think life should be," Williams wrote. "...cannot begin to describe the things we’ve seen, felt, or heard. We have lost brothers and colleagues..."

Williams was a 2002 graduate of Murrieta Valley High School.

A close friend, Rosario Boga, told Patch she knew him for nine years.

"He came home in January and we all hung out," Boga said. "He was a die-hard hero in all our eyes."

According to Boga, Williams was married to his wife, Wendi.

"I found out yesterday when his wife called me," Boga said. "She is being as strong as she can be right now."

This was to be the end of Williams' latest deployment, and Boga said she understood he would be returning to Fort Bragg before coming home to Murrieta in August or September.

"We were planning a huge surprise party for him," she said.

This story is developing. Please stay with Patch for more information.

arin stopnik July 24, 2012 at 11:54 PM
I hate that this happened. He was so close to being home with his family. He was an amazing man and is already very missed. Love ya man! -Arin & Brennan Stopnik
Kristian D. July 25, 2012 at 12:05 AM
http://myfriendthemedic.blogspot.com/2012/07/coming-home.html?m=1
LINDA MATKINS July 25, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I do not know this fine young man, but in my eyes, he is and always will be a hero. To his family and friends..my deepest sympathy to all. I am sure you are proud of the man he grew into. May God bless you. R.I.P Sargent Williams and I thank you. Linda Matkins/Murrieta
Charlene July 25, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I did know him, matter of fact he was one of my best buddies. He was a caring wonderful man, dedicated to his job and the Soldiers he cared for and worked with. The world is a darker place without Eric. Rest in Peace my dear friend, may your soul fly high with the hawks we ride in and your wife find solice in the honor of your duty and sacrifice. We will never forget <3
Nicole M July 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM
I knew him for 6 years we'd been friends, and he was a true hero. Always wanting to help people, his life wasn't fulfilled if he wasn't helping others, he was a paramedic before he started the army and his goal was always to help others. He will truly be missed
mesamama July 25, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I also did not know Sgt. Williams but will forever be grateful for his ultimate sacrifice. Heartbreaking to see how close he was to coming home. To his wife Wendi and the rest of Sgt. Williams' family my deepest sympathies. Thank you for your service Sgt. Williams may you rest in peace.
Kristian D. July 25, 2012 at 03:31 AM
I wish everyone had the chance to meet him at least once. He was unlike any other, he lit up the room when he walked in. He definitely made the world a brighter place.
R L Brieda July 25, 2012 at 03:50 AM
God bless you son #2. You are so very loved and will be in our hearts and souls until we meet again. Pops#2.
Maggie Avants (Editor) July 25, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Thank you to all who have commented and/or uploaded photos. I am open to speak with any one of you about Sgt. Eric Williams. My thoughts are with his family—and all who knew him—during this difficult time. I can be reached at 951-288-1024 or maggie.avants@patch.com. To Sgt. Williams: Thank you for your service!
Matthew D July 25, 2012 at 05:35 AM
I had many good times with Eric. I hadn't seen him in years but I'm saddened by this news. Eric, you will be missed and may your memory remain in all our hearts.
Daniel Woolfolk July 25, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Thank you, friends and family, for sharing your experiences.
mesamama July 25, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Do we know when Sgt. Williams will be brought home? Would love to show support for this brave soul.
Norman July 25, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Major I feel the same way This war is not about protecting American freedom, we have lost so much freedom because the people in power have used it as a power grab. I hope one day soon Americans wake up and see that they have been had. Norman Monterrosa
Gabe July 25, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I worked with him years back when we worked for AMR, he was very inteligent, very funny and just cool to be around. he will be dearly missed. -Gabe Ervin
Maggie Avants (Editor) July 25, 2012 at 09:05 PM
I have just posted a news release issued by the 82nd Airborne Division that gives more details: http://patch.com/A-wyHr
Suzette Sjostrom July 26, 2012 at 03:42 PM
My heart is filled with sadness :( As a mother and a wife, I could not imagian the hearts breaking ! my prayers will be with them and his friends.
Annette Dolan July 26, 2012 at 06:16 PM
My son, my nephew, and my boss's son are in Afghanistan near where this happened. As a parent of a fellow soldier, my heart and prayers are with your family... I know your hearts are breaking.
Pearl July 26, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Is there any way we can send cards of support to his parents?
gary pulliam July 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM
As one of his supervisors at AMR Communcations i enjoyed working with Eric...he was great to work with and was serious about his job...always wanted to do the best job possible...So young to be taken from us...RIP Eric...Mr. P
LEE PERCY November 01, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I WAS FORTUNATE TO HAVE SERVED WITH SGT WILL IN AFGHANISTAN. I WAS A ASSIGNED TO THE FST AT FOB WARRIOR. HE AND THOSE LIKE HIM ARE THE REASON I CONTINUE TO SERVE. TO MRS WILLIAMS, KNOW THAT YOUR HUSBAND IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE MY HERO AND FRIEND. MAJ PERCY

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