Willie (Bill) F. Ash served with distinction as a Marine Gunnery Sergeant, with three tours of duty: once in Korea and twice in Vietnam. He assisted with the Cuban Blockade and the evacuation and fall of Saigon, where he was wounded during the evacuation of the Embassy. He received the following decorations, medals, commendations and citations: National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, Merit Mast, Good Conduct Medal, RVN Cross of Gallantry, Merit Unit Citation, Rifle M-1 Sharpshooter Badge, and Pistol Expert. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Marines never left him, as family and friends will attest.
His heart and character was the catalyst for WFAO being birthed from his empathy, compassion, determination and fearless “never give up” attitude. His persona captured the essence of the Bible’s second greatest commandment, “Love Thy Neighbor” Leviticus 19:18. Some of his community activities in Greensboro included: Retired Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Chair for the Greensboro NAACP, volunteer at Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency, and was “Mr. Fix-It” for family, friends and neighbors. He was a true symbol of valor.
Willie F. Ash accepted the call to be a neighbor. If loved ones suffered, he wanted to relieve their burdens and to alleviate their pain, meet their needs, and/or right a wrong. Helping family and close friends can sometimes be complicated; but taking action is representative of “Gunny Ash”; he was truly an illustration of the Good Samaritan. Willie (fondly, called Bill by those close to him) met no strangers. He would always give a smile, words of encouragement and bring joy to those surrounding him. He was also known for telling a joke and never leaving until everyone was laughing. “Gunny” Ash’s persona is truly a model inspiration for The Willie F. Ash, Organization (WFAO), a nonprofit organization which seeks to empower Veterans and promote successful guidance to those served with dedicated teamwork.
Willie (Bill) Farley Ash was the true example of “Selecting a Good Solider.” At age 83, he went home to his eternal rest on February 22, 2018, surrounded by his family and many friends.
Mr. & Mrs. Willie F. Ash.
He's preparing for deployment overseas. (1967)
GySgt Ash (far left) attending veteran award ceremony.
Felecia is the visionary and Executive Director of WFA, Organization. She has been employed with the Department of Homeland Security as a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) for nine years. Her compassion, diligence, hard work, and attention to detail, led to her being appointed to the following special units: 1) The National Deployment Force and 2) Transportation Special Support Team; in which, both groups are made up of dedicated, professional officers primarily deployed to support airports in emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc. She also participated in the security coverage with the U.S. Secret Service for the presidential inauguration, in addition to other dignitary visits such as the pope. As a government federal security officer, she has a profound need to protect others; thus it has led her to protect veterans like her father, who are not adequately prepared to speak for themselves regarding acquisition of there earned and deserved military benefits. Prior to forming WFAO; she has been an advocate by participating in many events for Veterans and the under privileged at-risk individuals and families. Felecia has been a part of fundraising and partnership activities with the Atlanta Recovery Center, a private Non-Profit Transitional Housing for Adults, Hope Atlanta, and other Veterans groups for many years. Through donations and the use of her own personal funds, she has prepared and provided meals for many Veterans and Non-Veterans over the years. Felecia’s path has always been to support and help others; she is now achieving that desire through WFAO. She became an advocate for the plight of Veterans because of her father, Willie “Bill” Farley Ash, a 30-year Vietnam and Korean Veteran, who suffered from PTSD and Dementia. In 2020, the idea of continuing the legacy of her father through a nonprofit for Veterans manifested itself. Along with her family, she has had firsthand experience of the harsh struggles that plague honorable veteran men and women in receiving earned military benefits. Due to veterans and their difficulty of receiving the necessary assistance for successful acquisition of military aid; she chose to do something about it, thus the beginning of Willie F. Ash Organization, Inc.