AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Service after service.
For 20 years, Randy Willmon served his country in the United States Army and after he retired in 2015, he continues to serve his fellow veterans at the Veterans Resource Center as a veteran navigator and as the Veteran Service Officer in Potter County.
During his 20 years of service in the United States Army, Willmon was a 19 Delta Cavalry Scout and was the eyes and ears of the commander on the battlefield.
“As he is planning missions, and questions arise that will affect his decision-making process of what he does with the unit. We go out and answer those questions for him,” said Willmon.
According to Family Support Services, Willmon held numerous other positions such as Platoon Sergeant, Drill Sergeant, G3 Operations NCOIC, and UN Adviser.
During his 20 years, Willmon was deployed to Kosovo, Iraq twice, and Afghanistan.
He said since the time he was 12, Willmon wanted to be in the Army.
“We were driving to Dallas and at some point along the drive, and I saw a C-130 dropping paratroopers out somewhere, I can’t remember where and it stuck in my head and that’s what I want to do. I started to talk with people and I wanted to be upfront and I asked people, ‘who is the furthest upfront?’ and they said the scouts. So, I went Airbourne and became a scout,” said Willmon.
Willmon added it takes a lot of skills to be a scout.
“What I didn’t know was you need to know some engineering work because I have to be able to classify a bridge to see if it can hold a tank or not or what kind of vehicles can go across the bridge or not. Or how to determine the velocity of a stream or river, how to do route reconnaissance, and estimate the grade of a road along with the curvature of the road to see if it’s safe for this 50 foot long trailers that carry tanks to go along at a safe speed,” said Willmon.
After serving his country, Willmon would come back to his hometown and serve fellow veterans.
Executive Director of Family Support Services Jim Womack, said Willmon goes out of his way to those that come into the VRC.
“When veterans get that paperwork on how to enroll in benefits, it is so daunting and there is so much of it, you really don’t know where to start. So having randy and the other navigators here on staff being experts in that with that paperwork, telling them the steps and helping them through the steps, there are a lot more veterans enrolled in services now if we weren’t in existence,”said Womack.
Willmon said he is incredibly honored to be a part of the VRC and to help fellow veterans.
“This job is what helps keep me sane. It’s my purpose. It’s my next objective, which is where we are trying to get our veterans here. This is what drags me out of bed, this is what keeps me from playing call of duty all the time. It gives me the same thing the military gave me, which is I did something today. We did something real. We did something that going to mean something,” said Willmon.
Willmon said that the VRC went from seeing 40 veterans a month to over 80 a month once they hired Ashli Andrews as the VRC counselor and added the VSO veteran benefit portion on.
Womack added that the VRC has become a one-stop shop for a lot of services for veterans, so they don’t have to drive across town and he said that is a big benefit as sometimes transportation is an issue.