A soldier’ military might is inseparable from his intensely human characteristics. The latter coincide with and bolster his valor in wartime. Sgt. William D. Blahut, Jr. (“Bill”) exemplified this truth. Born into a nurturing household in Whitehouse, New Jersey, Bill’s formative years were filled with the promise of someday emulating his father, a World War Il state trooper and New Jersey paratrooper. Love for and from his parents and sister, Wanda, provided inspiration and the foundation for his military goals; but destiny’s capricious hand attempted to thwart his dreams when, at age five, he sustained nearly fatal injuries in a car accident Notwithstanding his tenuous odds of survival and ensuing physical limitations, Bill surprised medical science and his family by working his way back to health. Then, just before he turned nine, the family’s emotional resilience was tested once again when Bill’s father suddenly passed away. In a seemingly endless cycle of challenge, the family bravely clung to each other and rallied, with Dad’s memory and Mom’s quiet perseverance as their pillars of strength. Bill’s dream never faded — at least in thought — and could not be suppressed. In an effort to join the National Guard, he surpassed the limits of ordinary human potential, demonstrating remarkable physical and mental prowess. Bill confronted the dualities of tragedy and triumph with uncommon dignity and courage. For seven months, he served with distinction in Iraq and came home — under circumstances which no one ever could have conjured. His life was — and ever will remain — a testament to finding beauty in the moment and recognizing what is truly important.
Reaching within and beyond herself, first-time author Wanda Blahut Wierzbicki offers this heartfelt account in tribute to her beloved brother, Sgt. William LX Blahut, Jr. Ms. Wierzbicki grew up in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and attended Raritan Valley College, where she received a degree in Early Childhood Education. Throughout her academic years, Ms. Wierzbicki enjoyed writing short stories. She taught preschool for fifteen years and, subsequently, worked as a patient service representative at a medical facility. An abiding love of family has always defined — and continues to inform — Ms. Wierzbicki’s worldview and life course. She enjoys writing, reading, long walks, and being close to nature. She currently resides in Kingwood Township, New Jersey with her husband Andy, son Gabe, and their puppy, Goojo.