May 29, 2012

Flags lowered to honor war casualty

Under a proclamation signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, the United States flag and the Illinois flag are to be at half-staff at all State of Illinois facilities in honor of an Illinois soldier who died from injuries received while serving his country in Afghanistan.

Flags are to be flown at half-staff immediately until sunset, Wednesday, May 30, in honor of U.S. Army Spc. Samuel T. Watts.

Reports said Watts, 20, of Wheaton, died May 19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, almost one month after being injured by a blast from an improvised explosive device.  The attack occurred April 25 in the Zhari district of Kandahar Province, according to reports.

Watts joined the Army in July 2010, shortly after graduating from Wheaton North High School.  He was on his first deployment to Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, out of Fort Bragg, N.C.