Will was born in Oakland, Nebraska, on January 05, 1970 to Carole Ann Webster Saf and Ronald William Saf, Sr. He lived in Hooper, Fremont, and Geneva Nebraska. He graduated from Geneva Jr.-Sr. High School (now Fillmore Central) in 1988 where he played football for Geneva High School, then continued his education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study Computer Science.
In high school, he joined the Nebraska National Guard when he was 17 years old. After a year in college, he felt he belonged in the Army full-time wanting to serve his country.
Will was stationed in Texas before being deployed to Saudi Arabia for The Persian Gulf War, to include Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm from August 1990 to July 1991. Will was a Cavalry Scout in the Bradley Infantry Division of the military and saw some of the worst enemy fire in US history. He completed his commitment and left the Army in 1993 after 7 years of service, where he returned to Lincoln. After being home a few years, he decided his life belonged to the military and worked hard to return to the military.
He rejoined in 2005 as a Healthcare Specialist/Combat Medic in the Army and was stationed in Bamberg, Germany before deploying to Afghanistan for The War in Afghanistan, to include Operation Enduring Freedom. He saw action in Afghanistan, this time he was administering emergency trauma service to our soldiers after enemy fire until they could get to a hospital. He was very skilled and patient as a Combat Medic. After completing 2 tours in Afghanistan, his next duty assignment was at the military hospital in Fort Carson, Colorado. Specialist Ronald William Saf Jr left the Army in 2014 with an Honorable discharge and many commendations with just a few noted below:
•Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 campaign stars
•Kuwait Liberation Medal
•Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
•National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star
•Meritorious Unit Commendation
•Army Commendation Medal – 2nd Award
•Army Achievement Medal – 4th Award
•Army Good Conduct Medal – 2nd Award
•Army Service Ribbon – 4th Award
•Expert Marksmanship Badge Grenade
•Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge Rifle M-16
•German Marksman Badge: Schutzenschnur – Bronze
•German Armed Forces Badge of Marksmanship
•German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency in Bronze
•Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver with Track Vehicles
His time in the Army stamped some unforgettable images that he would not forget or share. He made the comment when asked at one time: “the things that we have to do to earn those medals are things that no human being should ever do or see!”
If you are interested in learning about his time with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan, there is a book, “War” by Sebastian Junger (who was a journalist that traveled and documented the stories of what these men fought for and experienced). Then, a movie was made called “Restrepo” that documented the experiences of Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and “The Korengal Valley” in Afghanistan!
Will has worked for various construction and manufacturing companies as a welder, shop foreman, and Project Manager/Equipment Operator. His remarkable talent in these industries was unparalleled.
Will always enjoyed great food and beverages including his love of German beer! You rarely saw him without a book in his hand and could sit and talk about almost any topic with anyone! He had a great sense of humor and a sarcastic wit that would always lighten the mood! He loved to surprise you with a visit and something good to share. He never hesitated to lend a helping hand and would give you the shirt off his back without a second thought!
Will was preceded in death by both parents and Grandparents; William and Joan Saf of Lyons, Nebraska and William and Eliese Webster of Craig, Nebraska, and brother-in-law; Kenneth Fritz.
He is survived by his sisters; Donelle Fritz (Lincoln, NE), Robin & Daniel Jones (West Des Moines, IA), and Ann & Travis Kozal (Waverly, NE). Nieces and nephews; Brandon and Autumn Fritz and children; Hunter, Paige and Addison Fritz of Holmesville, NE. Austin Fritz, Cole Fritz of Lincoln, NE. Abigail Jones of Vancouver, WA. Bridgette Jones of Des Moines, IA. Tristan Jones and Sydney Wiskus of Elkhorn, NE. Clairissa Jones of West Des Moines, IA. Thatcher, Treyton, and Tenley Kozal from Waverly, NE.
Will chose to have his body cremated. A Memorial Service will be at a later date. Following the Memorial Service, there will be a committal of ashes and full military funeral honors at Omaha National Cemetery – Veterans Affairs National Military Cemetery at 14250 Schram Road, Omaha, NE.
Memorials are suggested to: www.stopsoldiersuicide.org
You can shed tears that he is gone
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all that he’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him only that he’s gone
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what he’d want:
Smile, open your eyes, love, and go on.
To view a detailed list of Will's medals, copy and paste the following link:
Stop Soldier Suicide
P.O. Box 110605, Durham NC 27709