Monroe County Marine killed in Afghanistan

Monroe County Marine killed in Afghanistan

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Franklin Namon Watson (source: family) Franklin Namon Watson (source: family)

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - A Monroe County Marine was killed Saturday in Afghanistan.

According to family members, Marine Lance Cpl. Franklin Namon Watson, 21, was shot in the chest and killed in Afghanistan.

Watson joined the Marines in July 2010. He was deployed in August and had only five months remaining on his tour.

"Frankie was most definitely the most wonderful person that I have had the pleasure of knowing," said Lowell Russell, a close family friend.

Watson lived with him since he was 12 years old. "Watching him grow up these past eight or 10 years to mature into the young man that he was is just incredible. He was just top notch," Russell said.

Watson called Russell from Afghanistan last weekend. "He was real upbeat. He was living life like Frankie lives it, always positive."

Watson listed Russell as his next of kin so the Marines came to his home Saturday with the devastating news. "It was disbelief. I couldn't imagine what I was hearing was right. It was just real shocking news," Russell said.

Though he was on the other side of the world, Watson kept up with family and friends through his Facebook page, which is now filled with dozens of posts from people honoring his life and his sacrifice.

On September , Watson wrote that he was doing fine. He just wished it would cool down. He also thanked everyone for all the care packages he had gotten in the last few days.

"Frankie was just an all around good person. He was always smiling."

Watson's aunt, Laurie McDaniel, says his job in Afghanistan was to check for land mines. "His unit was ambushed as they were sweeping and he was shot in the chest."

McDaniel says her nephew had hoped to join the Secret Service and protect the president. "He wanted to serve his country and his county that he resided in, and that's a great hero to me."

Watson graduated Sequoyah High School in 2008 and was a part-time Madisonville police officer.

McDaniel says his body is expected to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in the next couple of days. Funeral services will be held in Madisonville.

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