Knoxville military mom celebrates 4th of July with son overseas

Knoxville military mom celebrates 4th of July with son overseas

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John is an officer with the United States Army and was deployed to Afghanistan in November. (source: Williams family) John is an officer with the United States Army and was deployed to Afghanistan in November. (source: Williams family)
“We wait by the phone and especially on a day like today, we're going to be next to the phone,” Toni Williams said. “If it rings, we're going to be on it like a june bug." “We wait by the phone and especially on a day like today, we're going to be next to the phone,” Toni Williams said. “If it rings, we're going to be on it like a june bug."
By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Like many Americans across the country Friday, Toni Williams prepared some traditional Fourth of July food including baked beans and hamburgers.

This year, Williams’ celebration will be a small one with just Williams and her husband because Williams doesn’t want to be too far away from her house phone.

“We wait by the phone and especially on a day like today, we're going to be next to the phone,” Williams said. “If it rings, we're going to be on it like a june bug."

The voice she’s hoping to hear on the other line is that of her only child, John Williams.

John is an officer with the United States Army and was deployed to Afghanistan in November.

“I'm so proud of him every day," Toni said.

Toni told 6 News she waits for the phone to ring each day but sometimes John isn’t able to call for weeks at a time.

Some of the hardest moments are hearing about tragedies involving other soldiers overseas.

"A couple weeks ago at 5 a.m., I hear the news on the TV that there had been five soldiers, five military personnel killed in Afghanistan," Toni said.

Despite the heartache, Toni said she never doubts John is doing what he loves.

After graduating from Bearden High School in 2006, he moved on to the military college The Citadel where he graduated in 2010.

Toni said John’s military service is his calling.

"He set a goal when he was about five to be in the military and he worked from the get go to get that and nothing would stand in his way," Toni said.

Today, on Independence Day, Toni said she hopes others are grateful for the freedoms we have as Americans and wants others to remember those continuing to fight to protect us like her son John.

"Every day I think about the Fourth of July because that's what he's doing, working on keeping us safe and free," Toni said.
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