Williams Welcomes Home First Lieutenant Amanda Plachek!

First Lieutenant Amanda Plachek was suprised to find friends and family welcoming her home. Citizens of Williams Gathered across from Town Square as Plachek arrived into town. Picture is First Lieutenant Amanda Placheck shaking the hand of Williams Fire Fighter Paul Seaver. (Staff Photo)

By: Lloyd Green Jr.
Staff Report

Family, friends, and a large group of well-wishers gathered in Downtown Williams on June 12, 2012 to welcome home the U.S. Army First Lieutenant Amanda Plachek, who has returned to U.S. soil after a year’s deployment in Afghanistan with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon.

Amanda Plachek is the daughter of Williams City Council Member, Angela Plachek-Fulcher, and step-daughter to Keith Fulcher both of Williams.

Tina Franks Maxwell, of Colusa shared: “I was in Shear Class when word came in that [Amanda Plachek] was returning home and using text messages and cell phone calls as coconut telegraph, her friends, family, and neighbors quickly organized an impromptu welcome-home.”

“I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw the crowd,” said Plachek, “It was great and even now the words to describe how I felt escape me.”

Plachek was greeted by several dozen family, friends, and community members who lined up along ‘E’ Street, across from the town square that adorned American Flags, and a sign that read ‘Welcome Home: you’re our hero!’.

“It’s unfortunate that the community isn’t always aware that a soldier is coming home or that they may be injured.” said Andi Armstrong, CBW President, “I believe that any soldier returning home from a war zone deserves a heroes welcome, and to be shown that we care and thank them!” Contined Page 2►

“With flags in their hands, and smiles on their faces, the small crowd, greeted [Plachek] on arrival.” said Maxwell, “I was honored just to be a voyeur to this most personal of homecomings.”

“After the loss of Rueben Lopez, the Citizens for a Better Williams decided that we would like to welcome home all the soldiers that come home from war.” said Pat Ash, “We need to step forward and thank these brave young men and women and if we are aware of returning soldiers we will try to do our best to see that they are welcomed also.”

The Williams Fire Department setup its ladder truck that adorned an American Flag, hanging over ‘E’ street as Plachek arrived.

“My mom, step-dad and grandma are my family,” said Plachek, ” but being from Williams Id say I have a lot more than that. Neighbors, teachers, police and firefighters, it was amazing.”

Plachek commissioned with the United States Army in May of 2009.

In 2010, Plachek was deployed to Afghanistan, where she worked in Uruzan, Daykundi, Zabul and the Kandahar Provinces as a Platoon Leader for three Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams.

“We would respond to everything from I.E.D’s to found Ordnance.” said Plachek.

During her deployment, Plachek had the opportunity to work closely with the Australian Defense Force and taught explosive safety classes to local Afghan rock quarriers and instructed demotion courses for the Afghan National Army.

“Military service was something I always wanted to do.” said Plachek, “I remember watching Navy commercials as a kid and just thinking it was the coolest thing.”

However, in college Plachek opted on joining the U.S. Army instead.

“I knew being in the Army would expose me to [both] the good and the bad thing, but I wanted the experience.” said Plachek, “I wanted to serve, and honestly I wanted an adventure.”

Plachek’s mother, Angela Plachek-Fulcher, is proud of her daughters choice to serve in the Unites States Army. “I am sure that most parents feel a little reluctance when their child decides to put themselves in harms way.” Said Fulcher, “but the knowledge that your child is one of the few who are willing to do such a thing helps balance any fear.”

First Lieutenant Amanda Plachek hugging her step-father Kieth Fulcher. (Staff Photo)

“I am so blessed to have such an amazing daughter.” Said Fulcher.

With 18 months left in her service obligation, Plachek will spend her days in Anchorage, Alaska. “I may decide to get out and pursue other endeavors or seek the opportunity to command my own EOD Company.”

“I am relieved her 12 months in Afghanistan are over, and that she is back in the US.” said Fulcher, “but I am realistic, accidents can happen and she always could be redeployed, these thoughts will always be in the back of my mind.”

Most of all Plachek is enjoying being back in the states, appreciating the small comforts of life and fresh air.

“I am so blessed to have such an amazing daughter.” Said Fulcher.

“I will be spending some quality time with my family, my boyfriend, and dogs.” said Plachek. “and enjoy the outdoor playground in Alaska and get back to living as close to a normal life as I can.”

Plachek was serving in Afghanistan when local Private First Class Ruben “Boy” Lopez was killed by an I.E.D. and wanted to share her comments. “Williams has had a few hard hits from these wars. When someone is killed or injured it really hits a small town hard. Although, I was in Afghanistan when Reuben was killed, I was able to view the pictures from the day when they brought him home. I was so proud of our community and how they rallied around the Lopez family.”

“I can’t say thank you enough for the support not only I received but the support shown to my family.” said Plachek.

“What a great community we live in,” said Fulcher, “Pat Ash and Andi Armstrong are amazing to put something like this together on short notice, those two never cease to amaze me with their true love of our community and those who call it home.”

At the end of Plachek commission, she plans to go back to school and start a second bachelors program in Fish and Wildlife Management and looks forward to working in the field of conservation in the future. ■

Editors Note: Welcome home Amanda! On behalf of our readership and your community we would like to thank you for your service to our country and welcome you home!

If you, or know of anyone locally who has served our country and is returning home from Afghanistan, please contact Lloyd Green Jr. at the Williams Pioneer Review so we can feature this individual. Lloyd can be contacted at (530) 924-0225 or emailed at publisher@wpr-news.com.

 

 

 

 

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Is the Owner, Publisher, Editor, and Reporter of the Williams Pioneer Review. Committed to publishing the news of our Community, Lloyd has been the owner of the Williams Pioneer Review since 2010. To contact Lloyd about this article or future articles, please email him at lloyd@colusacountynews.net