20 Oct

Heroes Week 2016 – Press Release


Heroes Week 2016

November 9 – November 15

This year marks Semper Fi Community Task Force’s tenth year in supporting our local Veterans their families and the Huntsville/Madison Community.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Semper Fi Community Task Force is once again honored to host Heroes Week. The Task Force invites wounded veterans and their caregivers to the Tennessee Valley for a week of truly special events at no cost to them. For many of the guests, this is their Welcome Home after returning from theater and following the long hospitalization and recovery process. Increasingly this week becomes a life changing adventure filled with love, respect and genuine caring. Flying, Floating and Fellowship are highlighted on their yacht cruise down the Tennessee River hosted by the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club; their aerial reconnaissance over north Alabama is hosted by 15 owners of private planes; a Bass Fishing Tournament is conducted by touring bass fishing professionals who dedicate their time and talents for a very memorable day on the water. The special recognition our wounded veterans receive while riding in the Veterans Day parade with Vets with Vettes and Corvette Owners will remain truly memorable forever. Each year the Task Force visitors are honored to attend the Marine Corps Birthday Ball. In preparation caregivers and service members who wish, enjoy a day of beauty as well as receive a donated gown or dress from volunteers across America. Additionally, service members needing a suit for the evening are fitted for one.

Heroes Week would not be possible if not for the generous donations and volunteers that support this event.

The Semper Fi Community Task Force is an all-service, all-volunteer, 501 (c) (3) non-profit, veterans support organization. Our mission is to apply the values (honor, courage and commitment) and skills we learned in military service to our nation and our community service in the Tennessee Valley through volunteerism.  We continue to focus on several service areas – Veterans and Youth Outreach, Community Support and Gold Star Racing as well our two signature events – Heroes Week and Heroes Outdoor Adventures.

*There are several events that the media is welcome to attend. Those dates will be forwarded to our media distribution list once the Heroes Week Committee finalizes the schedule.

For further Information or to schedule an interview Please contact:

Kate Hester, SFCTF Marketing & Public Affairs

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07 Jun

Welcome Home Ceremony

Mark your calendars for a Welcome Home Ceremony this Saturday, June 11th at 10:00am at Signature Air at the Huntsville Airport. Soldiers of Company A, 136 Expeditionary Signal Battalion, Alabama National Guard are returning from a nine month deployment in the middle east.

Gates will open at 7:00 for parking. There will be signs directing you to the parking area. Parking will be at the Signature Air location.

If you plan to attend, please plan to arrive between 8:00 and 9:00am for parking.

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28 Mar

2016 Heroes Week Welcome

Please mark your calendars and plan on joining us in welcoming our Wounded Heroes to North Alabama! November 9-15

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28 Oct

Heroes Week 2015 Events


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16 Mar

Huntsville’s Montford Point Marine

View the full story on WAAY-31.

Cpl. Williams

55074f5097721.imageCpl. Williams, one of only two Montford Point Marines who lives in the Huntsville area.

Montford Point was the training facility for African American Marines, despite the Executive Order integrating the military; the Marine Corp was still segregated. Williams got through his two months at Montford Point and went on to be a gunman.

“After boot camp I was a 90mm gun crewman–was an elevation man–and we had to get that gun started in so many seconds, not minutes but seconds,” Williams said.

Some 20,000 soldiers passed through the camp which has now been renamed Camp Johnson after Montford Point Marine Sgt. Major Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson, but a select few were meant to change the course history. They would integrate the Marine Corp.


“Then it came to pass that they said you are going to Hadnot Point, which when they say Hadnot point that was everything I saw on television that the Marines were,” said Williams.

He became a member of the Military Police and was sent to the white’s only military instillation, unsure of what to expect and completely surprised by what he found.

“Oh it was a whole lot different. They had tile floors, steam heat, and washing machines,” he recalled, “we had concrete floors and wash boards.”

The men were initially met with resistance.

“The first night they came out and wanted to protest or something but when the Sergeant told [them] that we had live ammo everything was alright,” Williams laughed.

They persevered despite the pushback and officially integrated the Marine Corp. Montford Point was deactivated in 1949.

More from Cpl. Williams 

55074fb193459.image“They endured, they went, and they excelled, served in WW2, did all the things that the nation was asking them to do and more,” said retired Lieutenant General Willie Williams.

Lt. General Williams says these men changed the lives of not only those they were serving with at the time, but the futures of Marines such as himself.

“I’m a firm believer that it’s because of them and the hard work that they did that I was able to have the career that I had,” he said.

While serving as Chief of Staff to General Conway in Washington D.C. Williams made it his mission to bring honor and recognition to the Montford Point Marines and in 2011 he saw his dream come to fruition, the Montford Point Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

But back in Huntsville, Corporal Williams lay in a hospital bed, unable to make the journey to the nation’s capital to receive the honor he had more than earned decades before. So once he was discharged the Marines brought the medal to him instead.

Members of Kilo Battery, 2nd Battalion, and 14th Marines presented Corporal Williams his medal. Among those who attended was Gen. Dennis Via, commander of the AMC and the first African-American four star general of the Signal Corps, and his wife, Linda.

“I was surprised to meet a general in the Marine Corp because I had never met a general in the Marine Corps in all my life, not even an officer of my complexion.”

Lt. General Williams of all the things he accomplished in his career, helping to ensure that the Montford Point Marines received the recognition they deserved is one of the things he is most proud of.

“This was an effort by the US Marine Corp to embrace the legacy of the Montford Point Marine, a legacy for the service of a people who, at the time, the Marine Corp didn’t necessarily want them in the Marine Corp.”

Corporal Williams is now one of only two Montford point Marines living in Huntsville and has fallen ill. The Semper Fi Community Task Force, an organization that Lt. General Williams is actively involved with, is working to ensure that Cpl. Williams receives assistance that he needs.

View the full story on WAAY-31.

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