Courtesy of Facebook
Family members confirm 21 year-old Lance Corporal Frankie Watson of Monroe County died in Afghanistan Saturday, September 24.
He was working in a two man patrol when he was shot in the chest, according to family members.
Family and friends gathered at his mother's home in Madisonville Sunday afternoon. His aunt Susan Atkins said he was a strong and motivated young man.
"He was just full of happiness. He loved to play sports, and he was just a loveable person," Atkins said.
Watson had lived with Lowell Russell since age 12. Russell became a father-figure to him, and spoke Sunday about how proud he was of Watson.
"He's just a very caring person. Whenever he walks into a room, you'll recognize him by just a big old smile," said Russell.
Watson was a 2008 graduate of Sequoyah High School. Following graduation he worked as a deputy in the Monroe Co. Sheriffs Department and patrol officer for the Madisonville Police Department.
Russell said even bigger goals drew Watson to the military.
"He joined the Marines so one day he could work for Secret Service, and do presidential detail."
Watson was deployed for his first and only tour of duty in July 2010.
Family member say he had only five months remaining in this tour.
"He loved what he did and he loved what he did for the country and he loved the Marine Corps," said Russell.
"And he loved the people that he served with and I'm sure if he had to do it over again, he would."
Services will be announced at a later date.