VONORE, TN, US
U.S. Marine Corps
LCPL, CO D, 4TH CEB, (2D CEB, II MEF FWD), 4TH MAR DIV, KNOXVILLE, TN
09/24/2011, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
Marine Lance Corporal Franklin N. Watson died on September 24, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, Knoxville, Tennessee. He and his unit supported Operation Enduring Freedom.
“Frankie” was a 2008 graduate and star athlete of Sequoyah High School and resident of Vonore, Tennessee. He was also a 2009 graduate of the Cleveland State Police Academy and attended college there to study Criminal Justice. He was employed at the Madisonville Police Department and he began his law enforcement career as a part time deputy with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. Frankie Watson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 2010. As both a U.S. Marine and a law enforcement officer, Frankie Watson was committed to bringing the rules and the unruly into alignment. Peacekeeping and finding a solution — both as a Marine and a police officer — were at the core of Watson’s being.
The law enforcement community remembers him as very upbeat and focused on what he wanted to do which was working and contributing in the law enforcement environment. With relatives in both military, law enforcement and secret service, it was not a surprise that immediately after high he sought employment in law enforcement. He wanted to make a difference and being a Marine was what he wanted to do.
The Pastor at Frankie’s service appropriately noted that the word “hero” is freely used at times like this, but his added point was that “dying in battle did not make Frankie a hero. Offering himself to die in battle made him a hero.”
Those who keep Frankie’s memory are his mother and step-father, father and step-mother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and his extended family and friends.