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January 28, 2007

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SGM Lynch

I first met CSM Watts in 1990 when i was a young SPC. Simply put the guy was a stud. A remarkable leader and a SFC that everyone emulated I followed him around for the next 15 years Bragg, Korea, Bragg and then Benning CSM Watson handed me the guidon for D 1/507 when i was a 1SG i will never forget him.

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Ross

I served with CSM Watts in Iraq at FOB Summerall during his passing. Also he was my CSM in Airborne School. Never met an NCO who i respected more than him. I wish i could have personally got to know him, he was bigger than life.

SFC Joseph B. Huston (Ret.)

CSM Donovan Watts was the picture of what a Command Sergeants Major should be. Always there to lend a helping hand and also to make sure that what was being put out was ok for the soldiers that it affected. There are very few CSM's who follow the type of man that he was, and still is, to those of us that still carry him in our hearts and minds. His lead was what I always followed and will until I meet up with him again one day! Until we meet again CSM Watts!

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Keep Moses at parade rest until I get there

Love ya Bigg "D"

Keosha Curry

I've never quite gotten past the surreal feeling of Dad being gone. I guess I'd just gotten so used to him always coming home, no matter where the 82nd Airborne led him, that I never imagined the adverse. Still hurts like hell. Everyone comments on the type of soldier CSM Watts is, I can't do that b/c I know him as a Father. Dad gave me the perfect picture of what a REAL MAN is...taking care of my brother, myself, and his 2 grandsons. His name, rank, date of birth, and date of expiration tattooed on my arm serve as physical display to everyone in the world what they can not see in my heart. Love & Miss You more than you could ever know, Keosha, Rhasa'an, Ki'Ondre, & Messiah (oh yeah and MOM too!)

Karen

Donovan E. Watts
Tuesday, November 28 2006

News Observer -- A key leader with the 82nd Airborne Division brigade in Iraq was killed last week, the Pentagon announced Monday.
Command Sgt. Maj. Donovan E. Watts, 46, died Nov. 21 in a land mine blast while on patrol near Bayji, about 150 miles north of Baghdad, according to a news release from the 82nd Airborne.

Watts was the top noncommissioned officer of one of four combat battalions in the brigade combat team. A command sergeant major's duties include overseeing the performance -- and looking out for the welfare -- of all the enlisted men in their unit, which was several hundred in Watts' case.

The job is so crucial that the 82nd is flying in a replacement, Sgt. Maj. King Parks, said Maj. Tom Earnhardt, a spokesman for the division. A senior noncommissioned officer in the unit is temporarily filling the command gap, he said.

Sergeants major are among the most experienced troops, and Watts was no exception. He was a 27-year veteran of the Army and had served as rifleman, machine gunner, team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant, first sergeant, battalion operations sergeant major and battalion command sergeant major, Earnhardt said. He also was an instructor at the Basic Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga.


He had been stationed in Panama, Korea, Louisiana and Georgia as well as three assignments at Bragg. He also was deployed for Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

Watts was remembered in the unit as its father figure and as a man who often spoke softly but commanded respect by his force of personality.

A dog enthusiast, he often divided the world between the "porch dogs" who sat and talked and the "yard dogs" who got things done.

His last commander was effusive.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Donovan Watts was the greatest paratrooper I have ever known," said Lt. Col. Scott Harris, commander, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in a prepared statement. "Not only was he my battalion command sergeant major, he was my friend and confidant. He was the standard bearer for the battalion, and set the example for everyone -- subordinate, peer and superior alike. He was kind, fair and treated everyone with dignity. His care for his men was unparalleled."

Once, at a social function, someone asked Watts whether he was married, Harris said.

"Yes, I'm married to the 82nd Airborne Division," came the reply.

"CSM Watts was a phenomenal man -- a father figure for the battalion. He loved being a paratrooper and, consequently, loved paratroopers," said Maj. Curtis Buzzard, second in command of the battalion. "He gave his heart and soul to this battalion, and it reflected his philosophy -- train hard, treat one another with dignity and respect, and set and enforce high standards. ...

"He will be sorely missed but not forgotten. He would want us to move on -- in his words, 'like a Doberman, ears up.' "

The awards and decorations for Watts, an Atlanta native, include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with silver and bronze oak leaf cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal with two silver clasps, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 4 device, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Army Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Superior Unit Award, Combat Infantryman Badge with second award, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab and Driver's Badge.

His survivors include his daughter, Charlee; and his sister, Bridget.



YVONDA BOLTON

Donovan I still find it hard to believe that you are gone. My heart still aches for you. You were such an awesome man I often listen to our song. I will promise you that when given the choice to sit it out or dance I 'll dance with you in my heart I'll dance. I Love you

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