Fort Bragg, N.C. — A Fort Bragg soldier wounded by an explosive device last month in Afghanistan has died, the Defense Department said Monday.
Spc. Samuel T. Watts, 20, of Wheaton, Ill., died Saturday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Watts was hit with an improvised explosive device on April 25 in the Zharay district of Afghanistan.
He served with the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.
"Sam was a guy you wanted on your team. He was a fighter," his company commander, Capt. Mike Kelvington, said. "From being an expert on the M240 Range with his assigned weapon to defying the odds when all the doctors said he shouldn't have lived this long, he fought all the way to the end."
Watts enlisted in July 2010, completed Airborne school at Fort Benning, Ga., and joined the 1-508th PIR in November 2010. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan.
His awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Parachutist Badge.