LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps at 19-years-old in 2007, Jaime Williamson is this week's "Hometown Hero."
Jaime graduated from Anton High School in 2006 and tossed around the idea of joining the military. After talking with the Marines, his mind was made up. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008.
"When it finally came through that I was going to Iraq I was pretty excited about it. I was looking forward to the opportunity," Jaime said.
For seven months Jaime fought for our country, but it was seven long months away from the people he cared most about.
"During the holidays it was tough. You spend Thanksgiving and Christmas over there and you're away from your family ... during those times is when it really hits you," he said.
Jaime found comfort and bonded with his fellow Marines. Little did he know, one of those bonds would become something bigger.
"We kind of butted heads a little bit because she would come in and tell me to do something," Jaime said. "I found it hard because she was senior to me but we didn't really work together so it just kind of made it difficult. I had to swallow my pride."
While stationed in Iraq Jaime met Chantel, a Marine Corporal from Oregon. After several months Jaime began to help Chantel with training for a new unit. The friendship grew from there.
"I don't know, we just fell in love, and I didn't want to do embassy duty anymore I wanted to be with him," Chantel said.
Going halfway across the world, Jaime met his future wife in the most unexpected way. They returned to the U.S. in January of 2009 and were married by March. They now have two sons, Mason and Jackson, and with both still active military the future remains uncertain.
"At any point in time one of us could deploy, or both of us, and so you have to decide if something were to happen to both of us where the kids would go," Chantel said.
Even with Jaime now a proud father and husband, he is willing to yet again sacrifice himself for his country - a hero who says he would go back in a heartbeat.
"It's really great for people to pat you on the back and say great job and thank you for the service to our country, but for me when I hear that from people I always think that I'm grateful for being able to serve," Jaime said. "I love the Marine Corps. I love what I do"