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      Farewell For Visalia Soldier: Friends Say He Made Everyone Laugh

      Army Private Keith Williams liked to make everyone laugh.{} Late last month in Afghanistan Williams was killed by an explosive device.{} Saturday family, friends and strangers gathered at the First Assembly of God Church in Visalia to celebrate his life.

      120 Patriot Guard Riders escorted his casket from the funeral home to the church.{} Many were from the Valley but some came as far away as Sacramento and San Diego.{}{}Tom Laystrup{}believes it is the best way to give a fellow solder a proper sendoff.{} "We ride for those who have fallen in combat.{} We ride also for Veterans who have fallen.{} We ride for other Patriot Guard Riders who have fallen."

      On July 24th Private Williams was killed along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan when the truck he was riding in hit an explosive device.{} A friend from Pop Warner football says Williams was well liked.{} "Brighten up your day, brighten up your life, he made everybody laugh.{} That's the crazy thing about it, even if you're sad, even if you're mad he had something funny to say or something funny to do to make you laugh.{} He was a cool dude."

      As his casket was brought out of the church Native Americans gave praise to a young soldier who died for his country at the age of nineteen.{} Keith Williams was a 2013 graduate of El Diamante High School in Visalia.