Donovan Watts
Donald Trimble Mortuary, Inc.
1876 Second Avenue
Decatur, GA

Family-Placed Death Notice

Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Donovan E. Watts of Decatur passed Tuesday November 21, 2006 in Iraq. His services will be announced by Donald Trimble Mortuary 1876 Second Ave, 404-371-0772-3
Published by Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 26, 2006.
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346 Entries
I have worn a bracelet bearing his name 24 hours a day since early 2008. I speak his name out loud every day. May his sacrifice and that of his family be remembered forever
J Michael Thompson
May 30, 2021
I have one wonderful memory of Donovan I will be sharing in new book called Leading Rangers in the summer of 2020 that has always brightened my faith in human nature:

A couple weeks into arriving in the desert in 1990 during Operation Desert Shield, we were still acclimating to observing the host of etiquette rules suggested to us as guests of Saudi Arabia, to include showing no outward signs of Christianity in a Muslim country.
SFC Watts was checking on troops on a task as was I at the same moment and we stopped to chat, he being the 3rd Platoon Sergeant and I the 2nd Platoon Leader. I had always enjoyed how Donovan could brighten up any task in any environment just by being positive. As we chatted, he caught a glint of metal coming from around my neck and with an amused smile reached over to discover a cross sitting on a gold chain under my dog tags. He smiled wide and said, "You know Sir, we're not supposed to be displaying those religious adornments." With the same smile I responded that he was completely correct and that I was torn because my good buddy gave it to me at his wedding for strength of purpose... By now the SFC knew quite a few young impressionable troops were listening in to the conversation and he paused for another moment and nodded, "Well hell Sir, you know if I had a good friend who thought enough to want me to have Jesus around my neck, I'd wear it too..."

And he reached back over and tucked it underneath my tee shirt with the care of a father.

Joe Sacchetti
February 24, 2020
I will never forget the time when I found out what happened. However, I will also never forget the times we spent together in the field and on other training events, when we laughed together and cracked up! I've always looked to you as my example as a leader, mentor, and person during the years we were together. Until that day we meet again my friend.
Chad Partridge
November 22, 2019
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, I was actually preparing for the holiday when I got that knock on the door on Nov 21,2006 coming to tell our daughter (charlee) that her father had passed away. I check this website often to read the comments, it is like meeting a new friend of his that i did not know and i get a glimpse into your experiences with him. I cannot explain the feelings i get when Nov 21 nears for me I always get a deeper feeling of missing him. We were together for ten years and they were the best years of my life. Not a day goes by that i don't think of him, his daughter was 8 when he passed she is 21 now and is doing great. Donovan was a funny, smart, loving man who is truly missed and was blessed to have all you whom still take the time to remember and honor his memory after all these years for my daughter to read and cherish to know that her father made a positive impact in so many lives!
charlotte Lopez
November 19, 2019
On a whim, I searched online for my old First Sergeant while I was in Korea. I never expected to be reading about his death. I am truly saddened. I remember many mornings before PT talking with him. All he talked about was wanting to be a CSM with the 82nd. I never seen a man smile about his future like he did. He was an awesome guy.
Eric Campbell
October 17, 2018
He was my Battalion Sergeant Major when we lost him. He was a great leader and mentor. They don't make Soldiers like him anymore! We will never forget him.
Ryan Keplinger
September 19, 2016
I just attended a dedication ceremony today (6 NOV 15) at the Fort Bragg Catering and Conference Center where a room (with a beautiful bronze plaque)was named and dedicated in honor of Donovan. It was a special moment with many retired senior CSMs from the 82D and 18th ABN Corps present. His legacy continues to live on. I was a CSM with him at Benning, and I will never forget when he knew he was going to become the CSM of the 1-505 (my old unit too). He was ecstatic. He was friend, a fellow CSM, and I will always be so proud of him
Michael O'Neil
November 6, 2015
We miss you my friend and God Bless Your lovely family.
Karen McNeil-Terrell
September 21, 2015
So sorry for your passing, Sgt Watts (Plt. Sgt. 1987) 1/325.
Jim Scholle
September 19, 2015
For you my friend.
Kennedy Easterling
June 1, 2014
CSM Watts, its been a long time for the two of us, we shared the same soil at Fort Bragg, Korea and Fort Benning, and then in Iraq together. I can remember the day like it was yesterday when we was in Iraq and met up and had a barrel of laughs about the old days. I remember when I was an Instructor for the 1SG/BattleStaff Course and my wife had to come in front of you when she had felled her test at PLDC, she was nervous as hell and when she found out we were friends, she calmed down, then you called me and we chatted about Integrity and doing whats right, and we just laughed because no matter what, I knew you was going to do whats right, regardless of the Hard decision you had to make. I was never mad and when we saw each other in Iraq, we laughed even more. She laughs about the day she had to come to your office, and the story you gave her, sticks with her to this day. Its 2014, and many years later I still have memories of you and our time together as Paratroopers and friends. Im so glad that you are being remembered and your picture being posted at the big house in Atlanta. Until we meet again, keep your chin on your chest, eyes opened and prepare for a safe landing. RIP my friend.
June 1, 2014
CSM Watts,

Thanks for being a leader and mentor. I look forward to seeing you again one day. I hope you look down on me as a yard dog, and not a porch dog. You were a great man. I am thinking of you on this Memorial Day Weekend.

Daniel Kearns A Co 2-325 AIR.
Daniel Kearns
May 25, 2014
My brotha a friend and gentlemen always there for me. I will never ever forget you till me meet again. Love you like my real bro. Safe landings love tee
Robert Thompson
December 21, 2013
CSM Watts, a dear friend, great leader, and a great Patriot. We served in my last years as an American Paratrooper in the 325th Airborne Infantry. You will always be missed, and I'm truly greatful for all you've done for me. God Bless You!
Van Santisouk
May 25, 2013
CSM Watts I remember the sacrifice you made 6 years ago. You were the best leader I ever had and the loss of you still seems to haunt November for me. It usually feels like better men than me died. I wish you didn't have to go.
Steven Mix
November 21, 2012
Farewell my friend, for now. Though our paths crossed seldom since we were privates in the 3/325, you always remained, and still are, a true hero, patriot and friend.
Ron Parvin
July 26, 2012
Fair Winds.....Full Canopy.....Soft Landing.
See you on the other side.

1SG (Ret) William C. Eanes
March 11, 2012
CSM Watts, you will never be forgotten, yesterday was my birthday 22 Nov, but you came across my mind and then I received an email that someone posted, RIP my dear friend, I still miss you and will never forget the words tyou said to me at the Audie Murphy board at Fort Benning, GA in 1999, thanks for your professionalism and support that you always gave us! the Infantry NCO Academy at Fort benning back in 1998-2001 will never forget you!!
Cheryl Woodhouse
November 23, 2011
You are not forgotten and you will never be forgotten by the men of 1 Panther.
November 22, 2011
November 21, 2011
To the family and friends of Command Sgt. Donovan E. Watts:
Please accept my remembrance of Donovan on the anniversary of his passing and know that he will never be forgotten.
Peggy Childers
November 22, 2011
Hi Teresa.
We got notice of Donovan's passing from Shang. We know that it feels better, somewhat, to know that others remember your loved ones. Just want to say that we remember Donovan. One moment that stands out is when Bridget and Marlon were going trick-or-treating, and Donovan came to pick up [3-year old] Shango to take him along. Please accept our belated sympathy, as our hearts go out to you; and our prayers for you, Bridget, Marlon, and Charlee go out to God.
Tutti and Henry.
September 26, 2011
Teresa, Bridget, and Marlon,
I know it has been years since we've seen each other, but I have constantly been looking for you all. I was just searching on the computer and this obituary came up. I don't know if you all will receive this but I want to let you know that when I saw this it really brought a tear to my eye. When I looked at the pics and saw that smile that is one I still remember from when I was little. I am going to leave my contact information, I would love to see you and for you to meet my son. My phone number is 770-603-8940 and email is [email protected]
With much love, Shango and family
Shango Moore
September 24, 2011
You are still remebered Airborne all the way.

CW3 Ray
Renee Ray
May 30, 2011
You're still remembered....ALL THE WAY!!
December 6, 2010
To the family and friends of Command Sgt. Donovan E. Watts:
Remembering Donovan on the anniversary of his passing. May our fallen heroes never be forgotten!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
November 21, 2010
I served with CSM Watts as one of his 1SG at Ft Benning, Georgia. CSM andI would awlays talk about the "82nd Airborne" times, thepeople we knew that pace of life.... and goof on each others units....

I loved to just talk w/ him; he was a great American Patrot -that will be mised forever.


Henry Sanchez
U.S. Army (Retired)
Henry Sanchez
April 3, 2010
I often reflect on your words of wisdom, and just to let you know I'm still dancing. I love you and I miss you.
Yvonda Bolton
January 30, 2010
We shared many a jumps together. He was a great leader and even more than that a great friend. He always had a smile on his face even when he was, on a rare, occasion frustrated as he was never angry. We loved him and miss him very much.
SFC (R) Jose Perez
January 28, 2010
I will never forget this great man. I will never forget this day PSD was hanging out over by sfc lancasters hooch when SGM Watts came by and started talking to us. he noticed one of the guys had a U.S map that was just sent to him. he proceeded to give us a lesson on the structure of the U.S. like how the roadways were built and why and the locations of the cities and so forth. he was almost like a fatherly figure to us. so very wise that we focused on everything that he had to say. A bunch of it was pretty dam funny too.

I loved listening into the conversations while we were out on patrol. but one thing that he said to me has stayed with me every day of my life and I am sure it helped me come out of that tour alive. I started yelling down about this car that was acting crazy out behind us and that I was about to light it up. he told me "LaBrecque, you just do what you got to do". That advice and guidance from him was critical in my success and survival through that tour. especially right at the beginning of the tour, as his gunner it gave me the courage to make the hard split second decisions with confidence which kept me and my guys alive while we had to move forward without him.

The impression he left on me will last forever.

All the way Command Sargent Major Watts
Aaron LaBrecque
January 15, 2010
I had the honor and privilege of serving with (then) SFC Watts with C Co 1/325th AIR. He was a fantastic soldier, a good man, and an outstanding role model for me and other young soldiers. He'll be sorely missed both as a force multiplier and as a good human being.

"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come." (Rabindranath Tagore)
David Pickett
December 22, 2009
Just was told of the loss of CSM Watts, I remember Him from bragg 1/325 C co back in 85. I rember His smile and great attitude. He will be missed and god bless.
Patrick Johnson
November 29, 2009
CSM Watts,

You are missed and you are not forgotten.
Sean McDonald
November 20, 2009
ssgt Rogers was my DI in jan feb 1967 at Fort Jackson.What a grate guy,Thanks for every thing.If you see this drop me aline [email protected] Russell Mann
russell mann
June 25, 2009
I served with then SFC Watts in C 1/325, 82nd Airborne Division. SFC Watts was on my promotion board & was THE example of what a paratrooper was. I am heart broken to hear of this loss to OUR nation & my prayers are with your family CSM Watts-I salute you!!
Gerry Propst
March 14, 2009
We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,450 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at [email protected] or go to If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Kenna Larra
March 5, 2009
Still missing you Sergeant Major...
You are a hero and were a great friend and mentor.
Nikki St. Amant
February 20, 2009
Twice my 1SG and, always a great friend and mentor. You are not forgotten, nor were the lessons you taught in vein. You are missed.

SFC Ret. Donald Sell
Donald Sell
January 18, 2009
This man was my 1SG in the late 90's and I am very proud to have served with him. He was like a father to me and he will surely be missed. I know you're in heaven now giving em all they can handle 1SG/CSM
Paul Martinez
December 23, 2008
CSM Watts, Today as everyday I mourn for you. You not only were my CSM, but also a father figure to me. I yearn to be half of the NCO that you are. I leed my men by the standard that you set forth and enforced. Its funny how at random times I can smell warm macadamian nut cookies, just like the ones that you use to walk around the TOC with. I miss you so much CSM. Today I will celebrate your life, and I will always hold your memory close at heart. Until we form again

SGT Snow, Brandon J
November 21, 2008
Holding you all in my thoughts and prayers.

The Wind on The Downs

“I like to think of you as brown and tall,
As strong and living as you used to be,
In khaki tunic, Sam Brown belt and all,
And standing there and laughing down at me.
Because they tell me, dear, that you are dead,
Because I can no longer see your face,
You have not died, it is not true, instead
You seek adventure in some other place.
That you are round about me, I believe;
I hear you laughing as you used to do,
Yet loving all the things I think of you;
And knowing you are happy, should I grieve?
You follow and are watchful where I go.”

(Written by Marian Allen during World War l )

Two lines that I wish you to keep near your heart…….

“You seek adventure in some other place.
That you are round about me, I believe”

I did not know Donovan, but I am remembering
his service and sacrifice. He is my hero. !

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Other Side

i'm over on the other side
where life and death softly divide.
left my skin and bones behind
now i'm over on the other side.

can you feel me there with you?
my breath is gone but i'm not through.
loved you then and i still do
from over on the other side.

i can fly. really fly.
below the earth ... all through the sky.
tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side.

it's good here on the other side.
the sweetest songs...the bluest skies.
thank you for the tears you cried
but it's good here on the other side.

i can fly. really fly. below the earth...all through the sky.
tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side

the world is smaller than a needle's eye.
where life and death softly divide.
when you leave your skin and bones behind
i'll be waiting on the other side.

i can fly. really fly. below the earth ... all through the sky.
go tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side.

Song lyrics by Don Conoscenti
C Desert Muse/SESAC
(Used with permission)

“I hope it brings great comfort to any and all.
Peace on you. DonCon” 4-2008

The Other Side –
(To hear the song)


Deb Estep ~ Ohio
Proud Air Force Mom SSgt Vince – Lackland AFB
Proud Air Force MIL SrA Dana – Randolph AFB

Remembering The Fallen – Blog

Angel and soldier drawing I have shared here.
November 21, 2008
To the family of Command Sgt. Donovan E. Watts:
Donovan gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
November 21, 2008
CSM Watts, You were truly a great confidant and friend. As I said at FOB Summerall, I will never forget you and the great times we had with the Troopers of 1-505 PIR. I was glad we could dedicate the One Panther Conference Room to you and that your family was able to be present for the dedication. You will always be remebered. Airborne, All the Way, H-Minus. 1-505th PIR BN CDR, JUN 2005 - JAN 2008.
LTC (P) Scott Harris
November 18, 2008
It is hard to believe that it has been almost two years. You were the epitome of what a leader should be. There was an empty void in the unit that will not be replaced. I am grateful for having the opportunity to know and serve with you. You will never be forgotten.
Jeremy Sandoval
November 17, 2008
thanks CSM for all you have will always be remembered as a great soldier and leader.
Desmond Jack
November 11, 2008
August 15, 2008
It was my sincere honor to have painted one of America's Great Leaders of the armed forces. To the family I will always be grateful for this priviledge. May you always find comfort in Gods Hands.
Thomas Bateman
August 15, 2008
It was my sincere honor to have painted one of America's Great Leaders of the armed forces. To the family I will always be grateful for this priviledge. May always find comfort in Gods Hands.
Thomas Bateman
August 15, 2008
August 15, 2008
CSM Donovan E. Watts,
You were my first squad leader in the Army and my last CSM. The image of you coming around your desk and giving me a huge hug after not seeing you for 5 years will be with me forever. You will be missed by all paratroopers and absolutely everyone who knew you. God bless your family.
Eric Surine
August 11, 2008
Dear Friend,
I have returned from the place where you left us and each day practiced the five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue that you were so well veresed in; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
W Calhoun
July 30, 2008
I was lucky enough to serve under CSM Watts in the 82nd. He was 1SG Watts then. He was one of the most influential people I have had ever had in my life. His words were never waisted if you took the time to listen. He helped me grow into a man. My heart goes out to his family. He was full of life and brought joy to everyone who knew him.
Jerome Greene
July 29, 2008

still miss you but wanted to let you know my son's middle name is Donovan and your picture is next to his in his scrap book.

your old XO
Falcon 7a
July 20, 2008
You are remembered and respected. Thank you Command Sgt Watts!
June 15, 2008
Its been a year and a half and I am still missing Donovan. When things go Good and Bad in my life, I always think of Donovan. He always made me see that " The grass was always GREENER on the other Side. Be Good Donovan, and remember you will always be missed, and in the HEARTS of everyone who ever "KNEW" you as a Leader and Friend.
saundra lightner
May 31, 2008
Real Weatherly
May 27, 2008
I had the honor of working with Donovan over the years-from 1987 at Fort Bragg (neighbors over DeGlopper field)-until he and I served together at the 1-507th PIR at Fort Benning.
He embodied all that is great about the American Paratrooper-and was a true joy to work alongside. Boundless enthusiasm that lighted up the area, professional demeanor, and unsurpassed skill.
He is greatly missed

Sean W.McCaffrey
Fort Bragg, NC
Sean McCaffrey
May 6, 2008
I will always remember you. You were the essence of being a soldier and paratrooper. I will always chuckle when I think about the red cockaded woodpecker and your theory on being the "man of the colony". I always hoped I would get a chance to see you again, but one day I will. We'll meet in the 82nd's Alpha Alpha on the High Ground. It will be good to see you. My prayers and thoughts are with your family. Robert Frost once wrote. "I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep." CSM Watts, your duty is done, may your rest in peace. Airborne All The Way!!!

Jim Cooper
A Co 2/325 AIR (1991 - 1998)
Jim Cooper
March 22, 2008
Yvonda Bolton
December 24, 2007
It's your favorite time of the year, you always gave of yourself and your time. I made sure my cards have red, green, and gold. Merry Christmas love.
Yvonda Bolton
December 24, 2007
To the family and friends of CSM Watts, please know that we haven't forgotten. You are in our thoughts and prayers, especially this week, we are thankful that God lent us such a man as Donovan.
Canyon Shearer
November 21, 2007
yvonda Bolton
November 15, 2007
When I boarded the duece and a half leaving the 82nd Repl.detachment headed for 3/325th Inf in March 1983,a very sharp Sgt. climbed aboard also inroute to 3rd battlion.He had just finished a tour in Korea and with a big smile on his face began to tell us how glad he was to be back in the 82nd.As we rode the short trip down Ardennes St. he admonished the group of bewildered privates to make the most of our experience here, "cause there's no place like it on earth".The very first NCO from the 82nd that I came to know was Donovan Watts.I look back and think,what a blessing! After Grenada I transferred from B co. to C co. and worked with him quite often the summer of 1984.We were on support cycle pulling Division guard and burial duty.He was in charge of both and I will never forget his professionalism and attention to detail especially with the funerals. I returned to Ft. Bragg for All-American week 2006 and just by chance ran into him at the displays on Sicily Dz.We talked of the old days and of present times,always the motivator he encouraged me to go back to Grenada.We exchanged contact numbers ,I promised to look him up next year and take him out for a good meal. When I returned to Bragg to find him I found his name engraved on the monument at the division museum on Ardennes St. where my journey began so many years ago.Thank you Donovan,your attitude and leadership style have been an inspiration to me!Thank you Donovan,for watering the Tree of Liberty,you will never be forgotten!
Steven Armstrong
November 14, 2007
I met Donovan when I was 13 and he was 14 years old. We attended sports camp together...Mel Pender Track & Field Camp, to be exact. Who knew that I would make a lifelong friend, sweating it out under the hot Georgia sun? We shared many things: a love of competition (and winning!), adventure, and an abiding spirituality.

For more than 30 years, I have received a phone call from him on "our" birthday. Before cell phones were readily available, I could expect a call from a field mobile telephone (I think that's the right term) whether he was in the desert, on the side of a mountain or across many waters.

Teresa, thank you for remembering the friendship that we shared and how special Donovan IS (never was) to me! Bridget and Marlon, you are in my heart and prayers.

Happy Birthday DEW!
Love Always,
Sharon Langley
September 12, 2007
I first met SgtMaj Watts when assigned to the 325th AIR. Later in my career I was a Black Hat for CSM Watts at the 507th. His caring and tutelage was the epitome of how a gentleman and NCO should conduct himself. My heartfelt condolences go out to those dearest to Donovan. God bless. "Rangers Lead The Way, Sergeant Major!"
Eric Doss
September 4, 2007
There is nothing that I can say or do to take away the pain or bring you peace in your time of sorrow, but I will offer you and your family my heart felt condolences. I also offer you my prayers that in time the pain will easy and the memories of your HERO will carry you through each day and night. I want to thank your HERO, for his/her selfless act of becoming a member of the armed forces, his/her willingness to defend the United States of America, all that we hold sacred and for the sacrifice that will forever be etched in the memories of all those who knew him/her. Though tears can never bring him/her back, we hope that our tears express our gratitude for the sacrifice that he/she made and our sorrow at his/her passing. I believe for every fallen HERO there is a star shining brightly up above to remind us of the precious gift we were given.

Your mission on earth is complete and you are now a member of GOD’s Heavenly armed forces. Stand down brave warrior and take your rightful place in Heaven with all the HEROES who have passed before.

I made a special promise to LE RON A. WILSON, a dear family friend who joined the Army with three other friends, one of whom is my son (Le Ron was killed in action on 07/06/07 at the age of 18) on the day he was laid to rest as I touched his coffin, that I would never forget him nor would I forget those that gave their lives for our country before him, with him and after him and so when I came across, I thought what a great way to keep my promise to Le Ron, so I will continue to leave tributes in each guest book until the day there is no longer the need to leave these tributes to a FALLEN HERO.


Currently stationed in Germany
Althea Barrett(Queens, NY)
August 21, 2007
Donovan, is the paratrooper we all want to be, he will be missed by all of us. I thank him for his guidence and for his friendship what a man, and friend to all. See you on the high ground.
Mike Eyer
August 9, 2007
Thank you for the sacrifice made by Command Sgt Watts and the sacrifice made by everyone who loves and misses him! May God bless all of you!!
August 3, 2007
Sgt. Watts was my long-time squad leader and later platoon sergeant many years ago in C company 1/325. What a great attitude. I remember our platoon in the field, freezing in the winter, baking in the summer, or getting rained on - "out here sufferin'" as he would say. His easy smile and his humorous stories would have us in stitches even in the pouring rain. With his can-do attitude and endless encouragement, he looked after me and got me squared away when I was a cherry in battalion. This is a terrible tragedy. I will never forget his service, his candor, his fierce cadence-calling and his strength. Great soldier. Great human being.

Tim Haggerty
C co 1/325
Tim Haggerty
July 10, 2007
To the Families of CSM WATTS I would like to say how sorry I am to hear of your loss. I knew CSM Watts professionally. He was the 1SG of a good friend of mine that lost his life on an Airborne Operation. I was happy to see CSM Watts after I retuned from Iraq. He expressed to me how excited he was to be back in the 82nd Airborne Division, cause it had been difficult tring to return to Fort Bragg. He told me he was deploying and after that he was thinking about retiring. We talked for a little while then said our good-byes to each other. I PCS'ed to Ft Campbell and he deployed to Iraq. I just wanted to share this with his family....again I'm truly sorry for your loss!
July 6, 2007
webb 0 Redmond
June 21, 2007
I have begun to experience a lot of 1st, first Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday without you. I miss you terribly. I Love you, Donovan.
May 31, 2007
We have known each other for over 24 years. Physically you are no longer with us but I know you are still affecting us all spiritually. My memories still reflects when I first met you back in the 82nd as a "Blue Falcon". A while back, MG Scaparrotti, then COL "Scap" and I was talking about you in a respectful manner. There are just a few of us left from the old crew and your absence from the picture will never be filled. Your presence still touches and affects us all and I "Thank you". It is going to be hard for me because when you left, I never had the opportunity to pay you back on the dinner I owed you, but knowing the person your were, you are just laughing at me from above.
I know we will never dawn each other's parachute again, but "Man" we had such great times together.
William Calhoun
May 30, 2007
love to you all...
May 29, 2007
Thinking of you on Memorial Day.
May 28, 2007
2002, I was decided to quit my cushy job with the State of Illinois and decided to enlist in the Army. I was 29 years old and my previous MOS sent me to Fort Benning, Ga. I worked for about 6 months and I was told to report to see CSM Watts. Now I had heard the stories and knew that either I was in a world of hurt or something positive may be coming my way. I opened up the office door and I heard “Sit down Airborne!” CSM Watts was typing something on his computer and he turned around and looked me up and down. With out hesitation he said, “Where are you jump wings?” in which I replied, CSM Watts I don’t want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. He looked me up and down again and he said, “It ain’t for everybody now go ahead and knock out some push ups.” After I recovered, he said that he heard I was going to HIS promotion board and wanted to meet me because I had only been in for 6 months. We finished our conversation in which I got two words in and those were Yes CSM. A month past and I was dressed in my Class A’s sweating nervously waiting to go to the board. I knock, salute, and wait for CSM Watts to drop his salute. He asked so SPC what do you want to do in the Army, I rattled right back and said, CSM Watts I want to fill your shoes someday. He stands up and smiles then walks out of the board. I felt a gallon of sweat dripping down my face and back thinking oh I am so screwed. While the fellow board members finish laughing hysterically and compose themselves, we continued with the board. As I walked out my NCO said CSM Watts wants to see you in his office NOW. By this time I look like I crawled out of a swimming pool, drenched in sweat. He look at me and said SPC that was one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of…because there is only one Donovan Watts. You need to choose your path and excel.” He was right there was only “ONE” CSM Donovan Watts, and he was truly my motivation.
CSM Watts will always be with me through my Army career because as was said before, he was the epitome of THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, Airborne CSM Watts..Airborne.
R Schultz
April 27, 2007
Happy Easter Brother.
You're always in my thoughts and prayers.
April 8, 2007

Robyn Garside
April 5, 2007
jon henaman
February 12, 2007
CSM Watts,
I was contacted by our old Commo Chief MSGT James Ellison yesterday. He informed me of the sad news. I will always remember (then 1Sgt Watts while stationed in HHC 2nd BDE Commo from 98-02. He was a man of true character and sense of compassion for his fellow soldiers. He was tough as nails on the outside...but someone you could always count on when it came down to the mission. The country has lost a true hero, and I a role model. May your soul rest in peace. Feet and knees together Seargent Major. SPC Bill "Smitty" Smith
William Smith
February 12, 2007
My prayer for the peace which surpasses all understanding (Phillipians 4:7) is petitioned for the Watts family and friends at the loss of a great man.
Thank you Lord Jesus. May Donovan's life and death serve to enlarge the Father's kingdom. May Donovan's legacy live on through his exemplary work attitude example of "Let's get it done".
Mark Brown
February 7, 2007
I read of Sgt Watts through the CVMA website from a former unit brother of Sgt Watts. It is always painful to hear of the untimely end to such a great Man and so great a warrior. My heartfelt condolences to family & friends cannot be expressed properly. Sgt Donovan E. Watts will always be remembered by a great many of his brothers.
Mike matthews
February 7, 2007
God Bless, and keep a true HERO!
Don Fulton
Combat Vets Motorcycle Assoc..
25th Inf Div
Viet Nam
Donald Fulton
February 7, 2007
I served with then SSG Watts in the 3/325 ABN INF, 82d ABN from 1982-1985. He was a fine Paratrooper that set the example for all of his soldiers, he always had a smile on his face and a positive attitude. He will be sorely missed.
Jerry Hansen 1SG (R)
February 7, 2007
I was truly saddened today when I heard of Don's death. I have known Don since I first arrived in the 3/325 AIR in 1981. I saw him a few months ago when he was here for 3D BDE's LTP. I remember, Don at other times; in Grenada, trips to Panama, jumping at Bragg and being an O/C here at Ft Polk. He was there if I need help or advise. He was true friend, great leader and paratrooper. God Bless you my friend. AIRBORNE!
Marty Martinson SFC (R)
February 7, 2007
CSM Watts,
You will be missed. You were one of the best paratroopers I have ever been associated with. You were tough, fair, honest, and above all loyal to your fellow soldiers. You were my first impression of a Non-Commissioned Officer in the 82nd. I was a young SGT and learned a great deal from you. Your humor was incredible! You could make a bad situation not seem so bad at all. To your family, stay strong and know that Donovan is still with you!
AIRBORNE! Rangers Lead the Way!
SFC(R) Howard Thrasher
Fort Polk, LA
Howard Thrasher
February 6, 2007
As I was getting out of the Army in 2002-3 CSM Watts was my BN CSM. He counseled me on my decisions to go forward and reluctantly supported me. It was only after meeting CSM Watts that I began to reconsider...he guided with genuine care and concern for the mission AND the soldier! I was impressed by his attention to me and how he took each soldier in as a personal "buddy" -- it was almost fatherly so to speak.

I was deeply saddened to see that he left us so soon...just as I am with all service members. CSM will never be forgotten by this former soldier. I will always remember him as a true leader and a genuine "father" of the Airborne soldier.

All ok Jumpmaster Watts - you'll never be forgotten.

Sean DeWinter (SSG)
January 31, 2007
Written to Honor the Service of Our Fallen Soldiers

Soldiers write history, we pay the price
Many miles distant, you live the life
Entered the Battle of our own free will
Out of Duty for Country, and we’d do it still

We hope and pray that all will find peace
In God, in the flag, in memories of valor
Gone now, our pride and courage you see
“An Army of One” our motto forever

Willing to risk all for love of our Brothers
We’re still Your Soldiers…and we showed the way
Our Lives too short, now pray for the others
Lived free died Heroes in lands far away

Deep within souls all cherished our Service
We’ll always have what some never know
Courage and Honor, our names forever
Lived life with purpose…just our time to go

We march in the Heavens with Honor and Glory
Missions accomplished we fought the Good Fight
Many years from now…we’ll tell the full story
Until that Day we will live in the Light

Our lives we laid down in a land far away
Still watching o’er you this night and by day
No need to talk…just know we are with you
There in your hearts and we hear what you pray

Yes we are your soldiers
Our lives we laid down
Still We guard o’er you
Still Duty bound

Entered the Battle of our own free will
Out of Duty for Country, and we’d do it still
We’ll always have what some never know
Lived life with purpose…it was our time to go
January 30, 2007
Please accept our sympathy for your loss, and our prayers that God provide you peace and comfort. Donovan will live on in the hearts of many American families, who recognize his honor and courage and who will be here to support your family with prayer. God Bless.
Lee Sirotnak
January 26, 2007
CSM Watts was my husband's CSM at Jump school in Benning. We are devastated that he was taken from us far too soon! He was such a kind human being! I remember one time he drove my father-in-law, my son, and I out to the middle of the DZ to watch a jump up close and he talked non-stop about how he couldn't wait to get back to Bragg and his daughter. My husband has told me so many stories about how funny he was and how he could sleep anywhere...they spent many hours together out on the drop zone... We are sorry to you the Watts family for your really is a loss for all of us... The Wolfert Family
Steff and Erik Wolfert
January 12, 2007
I'll never forget the first time I met CSM Watts back in 1991, 3rd Plt C.Co. 1-325. He made quite an impression on me as a young solder. I tried to model myself and leadership style after him throughout my career, espicially the way he interacted with his soldiers. My heart goes out to his family and soldiers.
Kevin Williams SFC (RET)
January 12, 2007
To the family and friends of Command Sergeant Major Watts I offer my whole hearted prayers and condolence. As a current student at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy I ask God for the strength and courage daily to become the kind of leader CSM Watts reperesented--a Sergeant Major who lived the Army values.
God Bless you all.
Arlie Rogers
January 11, 2007
CSM Watts' Family members, CSM Watts was a great leader and such an inspiration for all who had the opportunity to serve under his leadership while serving at Fort Bragg in the Falcon BDE. I always remember the Company runs in which he always had the energy to call cadence the entire route. He always spoke about the love for his daughter and for taking care of his paratroopers. I am honored to have known such a great 82nd Airborne Division legend and leader.
"All the way Airborne, Let's Go!"
CSM Daniel Ocanas
January 10, 2007
Words cannot express how difficult it was when those soldiers came to my home and told me and Charlee that her father had passed away. I can still hear Charlee scream as she ran into the bathroom to be alone.
It has taken me months to finally write this because of the pain, but the world needed to know what a wonderful, giving, and loving father Donovan was. Donovon was the greatest father in the world to our daughter. He loved his "Boo or his Butt-Butt the girl ruler of the world,"(as he would call her)he loved her with a fire to make all other loves seem like ice. He told me once that,"if he knew being a father would be this great, he would of done it a long time ago." Donovan would always say in life you should have three life long friends who love you, and who you love back, I hope Donovan knew that he was one of my three. Donovan was my best friend, my heart, my daughters father, he took care of us like noone else could. It breaks my heart to know that he will not physically be here to watch Charlee grow up, but I know he will always be here in our hearts.
I was reading a book not long ago and read this to Donovan on fathers day and he really loved it- it goes like this:
"What greater bliss than to look back on days spent in usefulness, in doing good to those around us, in fitting young spirits for their native skies; the duties of a father are neither few nor small but they elevate the mind and give strength to the character, they shed light like religion on the darkest hours and like faith they lead us to realms on high."
Donovan: me, mom, Bridget,Marlon, and the rest of the Watts and Miller family will take care of you precious Charlee. Love You Always remember (SIMW).
Charlotte Surgick
January 6, 2007
My heartfelt sympathy to the Watts family in the loss of Donovan. I did not know Donovan, but my heart is broken and I am saddened for your loss of such a fine young person and hero. May God bring you peace in your heart as you reflect on all the wonderful memories you hold so close. Please know that you are in my heart and prayers. My heart was touched by the many wonderful/beautiful things written about you. Donovan you are my hero and you will NEVER be forgotten.
I send each of you a hug from the most inner part of my heart.
Love and Peace

To live in the hearts
of those you leave behind
is never to die"
~Robert Orr~
Tom Gugliuzza-Smith
January 3, 2007
CSM Watts was the best senior NCO I ever had the honor of serving with. I broke my back on my last jump at jump school and CSM Watts and 1SGT Williams (A Co) were the first ones in the emergency room checkin on me. CSM Watts senced my desire to continue my service as a paratrooper and made it clear to me that he would do everything in his power and rank to help me along the way. He even gave me his direct extension at Batt. H.Q. and told me to call anytime I needed anything at all, even if I just needed to talk to someone. CSM Watts gave me the motivation and confidence to drive on and persue my military goals and I thank him for that. Even though I eventually got chaptered out due to my injury, CSM Watts was always in the back of my mind saying "Come on paratrooper, You're a yard dog. I know you can get through this" I never got to thank CSM Watts as he was at staff call when I got orders and had to sign out of the 507th but I will always remember him for I carry the memory of his encouragement in my mind and his bracelet on my wrist. God bless you CSM Watts, rest in Peace and Airborne!!!
Joshua Ashworth
January 1, 2007
I just found out today that CSM Watts mhad moved on. I've spent most of the day reflecting on his influence on my career and my life. I've even told a few 1SG Watts stories to co-workers. I met Donovan Watts in March 1996 when I reported to A Co, 2/325 AIR. After being out of the line for a little over a year in a garrison assignment he wanted me to get back to being a paratrooper. Within the year I became his Operations NCO and served inthat capacity until I transfered in Dec 1997. Like so many others who have written here (I've read them all three times today), my life was touched and enriched by having served with and known CSM Watts. Having worked so closely with him for that time, he touched the lives of my family as well. I will always remember picking up the new troops every Thursday. Those were the longest days of the week for me, making sure the new "Gators" were settled, in-processed and ready to meet their new platoons. When my wife went back to work nights, Thursdays meant she would bring our infant son to me. CSM Watts would snatch him up and sit with him on his lap or on his desk during the last Platoon Sergeant meeting of the day. He loved children and always had a kind word for the spouses and families of his troopers.

During the time I served as his OPS, I got to know him and our Company Commander well. I've always held their Command Team as "THE" example of what the Command-Sr NCO Team should be. I strove to be the SR NCO he exemplified when I was a SR Enlisted Advisor. AS a Junior Officer in the USCG I have tried to be the officer he would've been proud to work for.

Donovan Watts was a "paratrooper's paratrooper." He was the best of all of us and a true mentor and friend. He once told me that he never thought he'd make it beyond being a 1SG because he'd never been a Drill Sergeant or a Recruiter. Donovan, you've been both and so much more to so many of us.

To the Watts family: Thank you for sharing him with us. I know he spent more time with us then he did with you over the last 27 years, but we all felt his love for his family.

Charlee, Your dad is one of my heroes, as he is to so many.

Gator9, this is Gator5: Fair winds, full canopy, and a clear DZ. I'll be looking for you when I get to the Assembly Area.

"SGT Mac"
Cameron McCampbell
Cameron McCampbell
December 29, 2006
I met CSM Watts when he came to my office just before he left for Bragg. I was told that a CSM Watts wanted to see me. My first reaction was, "What now?!". When I walked out of my office, there he was in all of his bright and smiling glory. He dropped by to thank my office for assisting his soldiers. That sure brought smiles to the entire office. What a very special soldier and man. To the family: May GOD bless & keep you strong through this difficult time. "Remember, his story has not ended, he is just beginning a new chapter.
Sharonda Rowan
December 27, 2006
CSM Watts Family. Take care and continue to pray. Time will heal your hurt. I only knew him for a short time but he was a great fellow. GOD BLESS.
CSM Wayne Andrews
December 27, 2006
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
1SG (RET) John L Wright
December 23, 2006
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