Birthday presents in hand, Greg and Giovanna Williams were ready to see their granddaughter, Rebecca.

Birthday presents in hand, Greg and Giovanna Williams were ready to see their granddaughter, Rebecca.
Wednesday morning, the couple boarded flight HRF49P, a three hour and 15 minute flight from Leesville to Athens, Ga., to spend quality time with Rebecca, who was Down Syndrome, as part of the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC)'s Hero Flights.
Greg last saw his granddaughter in April when the VAC flew him to Athens, so that he could say goodbye to his father, who passed away shortly thereafter. Before that, it had been over a year since the couple last saw their granddaughter, Rebecca.
Greg Williams was injured in 2006 in Afghanistan, when three rocket-propelled grenades struck the vehicle in which he and three other soldiers were riding. Greg suffered a traumatic brain injury and, to this day, suffers from hemiplegic migraines balance issues, double vision, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"We didn't know the full extent of the injuries until three weeks before I was set to deploy to Iraq," Greg Williams said.
The VAC provides free air transportation to wounded warriors, veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of aircraft owners and pilots. Wednesday, Andre Bohy, the president of Omni Financial, was the pilot of the Williams' Hero Flight.
Bohy, who is from New York, has been involved with the VAC for roughly three years, and said he tries to do "two or three flights a year.
"It's my way of giving back," Bohy said. On Wednesday's flight, Bohy volunteered to fly the couple using his plane, and Omni Financial donated the fuel.
Bohy said that because Hero Flights are nationally recognized, many times, their flights get priority landings or shortened flight paths.
Greg and Giovanna will return from Athens to Leesville on Sept. 27 on another Hero Flight. While in Athens, the couple will spend plenty of quality time with their granddaughter, Rebecca, but also will spend a little time hunting and shopping.