Representatives from DynCorp International (DI), the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the local law-enforcement community gathered March 15 in Calhoun, Georgia, to honor Gary Wayne Willard, who was killed while serving as a police advisor in Afghanistan. Elizabeth, his widow, along with daughter Samantha and son Travis, accepted awards from DI and INL in recognition of Willard’s service and sacrifice.
David Dobrotka, DI vice president of International Civilian Police (CIVPOL) Training and Mentoring, presented the family with the DynCorp International Chairman’s Valor Award.
Walter Redman, the U.S. State Department’s Chief Police Advisor, Office of CIVPOL Program INL, praised Willard’s extraordinary dedication to his country, with this statement:
“Gary Wayne Willard was a true American hero who died serving his country. His life-long record of service speaks for itself. He had amazing accomplishments with the Calhoun Police Department and then offered those skills to help train and develop the Afghan National Police. His effort in Afghanistan was to ultimately help secure us here at home in the United States. He served his community – he served his country – he served humanity by advancing the cause of human rights and the rule of law. Gary Wayne Willard was a true American hero.”
Melanie Brock, Afghanistan Transition Coordinator, INL, though unable to attend, wrote to commend Willard’s service.
Sergeant Major Douglas Simons (USMC Ret.), a former police mentor who also worked in Afghanistan, spoke of the call to service and the importance of Willard’s contribution:
“Wayne was my best friend and an outstanding man who left this life doing what he wanted to do, defending this great nation. It is an honor to have served with him. I feel my life is much richer and I am a better person for having known him. Today there are men and women who serve around the world in harm’s way to protect the people of this nation from people who would see fit to destroy everything we stand for. As long as there are people like Wayne, Americans can sleep at night, given the security those like Wayne provide.”
A member of the United States Marine Corps, Willard served six years with the Elite Force Reconnaissance Unit, and he spent eight years with the Calhoun Police Department, where he was commander of the Special Response Team and a member of the Northwest Georgia Bomb Squad.
DynCorp International recognizes and remembers those who exemplify the spirit and the values of our company. Gary Wayne Willard contributed through his work, his service and his sacrifice, serving today for a better tomorrow.