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Cpl. Justin J. Watts View/Sign Guest Book
Cpl. Justin J. Watts

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Age:   20
Hometown: Crownsville, MD
Date of Death: 1/14/2006
Incident Location: Haditha, Iraq
 
Branch of Military:   Marines
Rank: Cpl.
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditio
Unit's Base: Camp Pendleton, CA

A Marine from Crownsville died last week from an apparent non-hostile gunshot wound in Iraq, the Pentagon said Tuesday. Cpl. Justin J. Watts, 20, of Crownsville, was found dead at Forward Operating Base Haditha Dam in Haditha, Iraq, the Department of Defense said. His death is under investigation, but the DOD did not provide any more details. Watts was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. His unit was attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. A woman who identified herself as a friend of the Watts family read a statement to the media Tuesday night, saying the family is "extremely proud of Justin and will miss him dearly." The statement said Watts was a graduate of Old Mill High School in Millersville in 2003, where he played on the ice hockey, swimming and lacrosse teams. He joined the Marines in 2003, the friend said, and served his first tour of duty in Iraq from June 2004 to January 2005. "He married his childhood sweetheart, Nicole Seaton, in May 2004," the statement said. Kathryn L. Kubic, principal of Old Mill High School, told The (Baltimore) Sun Tuesday night, "We certainly celebrate any of our students who decide to honor our county by serving in the armed forces. The whole Old Mill community would like to rally around the family in support at this time." -- In high school, Justin J. Watts was a founding member of the ice hockey team. He was also something of a cheerleader. "He was definitely one of the above-and-beyond guys," said his hockey teammate Mike Urgo. "I was only a sophomore and he definitely took me under wing. We were getting shut out 10-0, and he kept my spirits high." "We are extremely proud of Justin, and we will miss him dearly," said his father, James A. Watts. Watts was also a lacrosse player, swam and raced BMX bikes. Watts' lacrosse coach, Steve Spence, described him as "very respectful, super responsible. He was a great kid." Urgo's father, Don, who coached the hockey team, described Watts as "a big guy" who was "very mild-mannered." "He had a huge following of fans who would come to the game just for him _ people liked him," Don Urgo said. He joined the Marines shortly after graduating in 2003. One month before shipping off, Watts married his high school sweetheart, Nicole.
Source: Associated Press
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