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Remembering Samuel T. Watts on His 21st Birthday

Spc. Samuel Watts of Wheaton, who died of injuries sustained in an explosion in Afghanistan, was born 21 years ago today.

Samuel T. Watts of Wheaton would have celebrated his twenty-first birthday today.

Army specialist Watts died Saturday, May 19 in Bethesda, MD of injuries sustained in an April 25 explosion while serving in Afghanistan. He was 20.

He was born August 14, 1991 in Elmhurst to Thomas and Susan Watts.

He attended and graduated from in 2010. He was an avid BMX biker, a student at Technology Center of DuPage in Addison in the Fire Science program. He hoped to serve as a fireman after his service in Afghanistan.

He joined the Army in July 2010 as an Infantryman. He joined the 1-508th PIR in November 2010. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan, according to a release from the 82nd Airborne Division.

Sam Watts is survived by his parents, Thomas and Susan Watts; two sisters, Sarah and Abigail; a brother, Andrew; his paternal grandmother, Ruth; his maternal grandfather, Paul; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

"Sam was a really, really good guy and well loved in our community. We are so proud of what our son has done and are truly humbled by the outpouring of prayers and affection," Watts' mother Susan Watts said in a in May. "We would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support."

Capt. Mike Kelvington, Bravo Company Commander with 1-508th PIR said in a statement, "Sam was a guy you wanted on your team; he was a fighter... From being an expert on the M240 Range with his assigned weapon to defying the odds when all the doctors said he shouldn't have lived; this long, he fought all the way to the end."

In remembrance of Spc. Samuel Watts on his birthday, we ask family and friends to share their memories of him and words for his loved ones in the comments.

Gregg Slapak August 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM
I vividly recall your funeral services at St John Lutheran Church and your burial ceremonial at Wheaton Cemetary. So, sir, this song comes to you from my heart on what would have been your 21st birthday. Rest in eternal peace, Sam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJgt2ktRJME Thank you, Sam, from a very grateful American. I salute you! Gregg Slapak/Wheaton
ashley knitter August 14, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Sam was one of my best friends for most of my life. It was hard not hearing his voice on my birthday. But today is unlike any pain I've felt. We always talked about how amazing his 21st birthday would be...I hope you're raging up there with your brothers Sammy. We all love and miss you so much. ~Smash
BIll I August 14, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I know words still ring hollow, especially today, but I'm sorry for your personal loss Ashley. (Don't count the number of comments on the patch as an indication to what many think and feel about Sam.) I don't recal a day I've gotten up and not thought of soldiers like Sam and their families. Today was no different. I'm sure if Sam would want you to try, as hard as it might be, to celebrate his life and the time you shared together.
BIll I August 14, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I failed in my previous post to specifically mention the Miller family in Wheaton who also suffered the loss of a son.
Melissa L. Stoneburner August 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Thank you to Sam's parents for raising a hero. My son wants to join the military after college so I appreciate all parents and the support they gave their children when faced with this tough decision. My prayers are with you!
M August 20, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Many memories from friends and loved ones here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/280668675360749/

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