Sgt. Matt Williams is a father, a veteran, and a country music singer.
He “served 8 ½ years in the United States Army. Of those years, he spent 2 years in Iraq and 1 year in Afghanistan where he was severely injured in a IED (improvised explosive device) which ended his career in the military,” according to his YouTube page.
He told Lumen Student News how his war experience influences his music, when he recently sat down with us.
“I grew up as kind of a normal boy, I guess,” Williams told Lumen Student News, “you know, went around, got in trouble. Grew up in a pretty religious home. My grandfather was a preacher.
“[I] used to sing in church all the time. I loved it — singing was always my passion.”
He said he joined the military after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
“Another reason was at the time, I was that troubled teenager and I needed to grow up, do something with my life, and so I chose the Army to do that,” he said.
“My military service has influenced my music more than words can even express. My music is more, instead of trying to be fun all the time, my music is more expressive of what really happened in my life,” he said.
“So I wrote a song and it spoke about my experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said, referring to “Carry On.”
“What it basically says is the physical body of a veteran, of a soldier when they’ve been killed in action — that’s gone. But the memory of them will always be there. Their legacy will always be there,” he said.
He wears a Purple Heart “in honor of my guys that I lost.”
“It’s not about me. It’s about carrying on the memory of those who sacrificed to give us the freedoms that we have today,” he said.
The proceeds from the sales of “Carry On” are going to benefit the PBS Veterans Engagement Program. It can be purchased here.