According to the Medal of Honor citation, Williams "braved intense enemy fire to lead a counter-attack across a valley of ice-covered boulders and a fast-moving, ice-cold and waist-deep river."
He helped save the lives of four critically wounded soldiers, although he gives credit to the pilots who flew airstrikes on the village. The medevacs that came in to pick up the wounded also took fire.
Williams was notified he would receive the Medal of Honor more than a year ago, but he said the ceremony would have to wait.
"We had a deployment to Africa and, you know, I really wanted to make sure that I was able to continue serving with the guys," he said.
Now that he's received the medal, the Army is not likely to let him go in harm's way again.
"I'm not okay with it. But if it's ultimately safer for the team I understand that," Williams said.
Which is why for Williams and others who have received the medal, it is as much a burden as an honor.