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In Memoriam

Samuel Watts

Spc. Samuel T. Watts, 20, of Wheaton, Ill., died May 19, 2012 in Bethesda, Md., of wounds sustained April 25, in Zharay, Afghanistan, when he was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device.

"Friends and family are remembering U.S. Army Spc. Samuel Watts as a fearless young man who long wanted to join the military and serve his country. Watts, 20, died Saturday from injuries he sustained last month from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

He graduated from Wheaton North High School in 2010 and enlisted in the Army that summer. He trained at Fort Benning, Ga., and was deployed to Afghanistan early this year with the 82nd Airborne Division. When his unit was hit April 25 in the Zharay district of the Kandahar province, the explosive instantly killed one other serviceman and injured a handful of others, including Watts. Family friends said Watts initially was taken to Germany for medical care and then flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland, where he died.

Please keep Spc Watts and his family in your prayers.

Ultimately succumbing to the injuries he sustained in battle, our dear Sam passed away on Saturday morning, May 19th, surrounded by his loving family. Also with Sam was his squad leader from when Sam first got to boot camp, Derek, who had come from North Carolina to be with him. Derek and Sam loved each other like brothers. Derek shared stories of Samís life as a soldier and he was of great comfort to the family. On May 16th, Sam received a Purple Heart medal. In a most poignant ceremony, Tom had the honor and privilege of pinning the medal on his son. We are so proud of Sam, a strong and noble man, who courageously put himself in harmís way, who fought against the terrorism that jeopardizes the freedom and security of the world, who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect his country and its citizens.

Thank you for all of your prayers and beautiful words of love and concern for Sam and his family during this horrendous ordeal. I know we are all feeling heartbroken, but we have faith that Sam is in heaven where there is no suffering. He is rejoicing in the presence of God and he is with his loved ones that have preceded him there. Perhaps this story that was sent to me by a dear family friend will help us begin to heal:

"We were all weeping while standing on a shore watching a tiny boat with golden sails moving slowly across the waters away from us. At the very moment the little boat with golden sails disappeared from view and we were saying with such great sadness, 'he is going, oh, he is gone,' on a far, far distant shore, many friends and family were anxiously waiting, and as the little boat with the golden sails slowly came across the waters into view, they all shouted with excitement and happiness, 'oh, he is coming, he is coming'!!" We love you, Sam, and you will be sorely missed.



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