Most of Timothy D. Watkins' life centered around his church. He graduated from Calvary Baptist High School, on the grounds of his pastor-father's church. He worked with children at a Christian camp and sang with a worship group.
"He had a servant's heart," said Rob Watkins, pastor at Calvary Baptist Church Yucca Valley, of his son. "He was very much a help at our church."
Watkins, 24, of San Bernardino, Calif., was killed Oct. 15 in Ramadi by a roadside bomb. He graduated high school in 1999 and was assigned to Fort Benning.His son was known and respected by soldiers in Iraq, said his father. He was a mentor to some, a friend to many. "On Sunday mornings, when guys weren't out on a mission, he'd round up anybody that wasn't on a mission and take them to church with him," his father said. Another of his passions was learning to fly, prompting him to decide to join the military, Rob Watkins said. He had wanted to fly helicopters. In August, Watkins spent two weeks at his parents' home after serving for seven months in Iraq. "He was great," said the elder Watkins. "He was in excellent spirits. He always was."