Farewell to a Hero

by Dennis Perry on October 1, 2011

I am in Vonore, TN for a Master Mind retreat with my 2 Master Mind partners.  This is a time for planning, brainstorming, and using the collective energy and intelligence of the group to address areas where we are stuck or want to grow at a faster pace.

In a future post I will talk about Master Mind Groups and the power of them.  But, today, I want to address in my small way, the cost of Freedom.

Today at 10:15 AM, the body of Lance Cpl Frankie Watson of Madisonville, TN will be returned to his family.  He was a 21 year old Marine killed in action in Afghanistan.

We will save the arguments regarding our need to be there for another day.  For today, we honor a brave US Citizen who felt he needed to join the US Marine Corps to help keep his country safe.

I did not know Lance Cpl Watson.  I didn’t need to.  All I need to know is that he voluntarily put his life in harm’s way in order to help preserve our freedom and to help others in the world have a chance at the kind of freedom that he has known all of his life.

Freedom and safety for his family and friends was one of his highest concerns.  Prior to joining the Marines, he was a Deputy Sheriff for Madisonville.

The citizens of Vonore and Madisonville, TN will line Hwy TN 411 as he takes his last ride down the 31 mile stretch from McGhee-Tyson Airport to Madisonville.  All will have American Flags and, no doubt, many tears as we bid farewell to a hero.

I will be there.

Always remember, whatever country you happen to be reading this in, the freedoms you enjoy did not come without a very high price tag.  Many young people have lost their lives in the effort to gain and/or preserve that freedom.

So, if you see a soldier today, young or old, male or female, please take a few seconds to stop and say thank you.  A handshake and a warm greeting will do wonders for the heart of a soldier.

Please, take a moment today to pause and be grateful for the opportunities that you have, for the freedoms you enjoy.  Make this a great day and make your life truly rich in every way.

And, while you’re at it, be sure to make it a great day for any soldier, past or present, that you may encounter today.


Lance Cpl Frankie Watson’s funeral was at 8:00 PM EST this evening and was broadcast via live streaming over the internet.  Thousands of people watched online from all over the world.  It was a touching service and his family managed to hold up quite admirably. 

The funeral was attended by many members of the US Armed Forces as well as local police departments. 

Below are just a few pictures of the funeral procession.  May Lance Cpl Frankie Watson rest in peace.

Thank you Lance Cpl for making the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.


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April Braswell October 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm

A rich tribute to a fallen hero to whom we in the United States are all grateful. To him, Lance Cptl Frankie Watson, we honor you, the gift you gave us, your country. Thank you. And to your family, we thank you for the valiant young man you gave us. We appreciate you.

For his family, I’d like to refer them to two resources. Because they just might read your post, or others like it. The first is a novel, Hidden Wounds: A Soldier’s Burden: http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Wounds-Soldiers-Nate-Brookshire/dp/1934266221/

The second is an institute, one of the 2 founders, if memory serves me, served in Viet Nam. The name of the institute won’t draw them. But trust me, (widow, late husband served in VN) you want this. You can phone them. You’ll want to talk to Russell. And they are training chaplains to more particularly help combat vets and their families: The Grief Recovery Institute: http://www.grief.net/ (.NET is their site)

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell
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Dennis Perry October 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Thank you April for the very kind words and the resources. I do not know the family but I will see if I can get this information to them.

The Knowledge Stylist: Music, Photography, Travel, Gadgets and More! October 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Powerful message, Dennis. It is so important for us to continue to remember all the brave souls who fought for our way of life, and continue to do so today.



Annie Born October 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Thank you – We will Remember Him.
Looking forward to tomorrow!
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Rob Malone October 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Great post Dennis and a wonderful tribute. I have so much respect for those young men willing to put their life on the line for our freeedom.

I pray for the day when we can all live together as one and wars are no more. God bless the troops.

John Moulder October 2, 2011 at 9:07 am

Here in Australia we have also lost a few brave soldiers in Afghanistan . It is such a terrible time for their families . We can only give thanks for their unselfish sacrifice to keep the rest of the world as safe as possible .


Body language October 2, 2011 at 3:15 am

I have a few frineds in the military and some of them are Marines these men and women are real heros for the work that the do.
Scott Sylvan Bell
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Michael D Walker October 2, 2011 at 3:02 am

Thanks for the thoughtful post. As someone who served 2 tours of duty, I can assure you a “thanks” goes a long way with most veterans. You’d be surprised how little they hear it.

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Andrew Miner October 2, 2011 at 2:52 am

It’s a terrible shame that this happened. One is too many…


Cherie Miranda October 2, 2011 at 1:28 am

Thanks for the reminder, Dennis. Thanking veterans is always a wonderful thing to do.

Cherie Miranda

Holistic Health Expert

Michael Paulse October 2, 2011 at 1:03 am

Dennis, it is always sad to hear of the death of a young person. My thoughts will be with Lance Cpl Frankie Watson today.

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Lisa McLellan October 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm

It makes me so sad to hear of a soldier dying. I don’t know which is worse, when they are so young that they weren’t even married and didn’t have children yet so now they never will be able to, or when they are a little older and leave behind a spouse and kids. It’s just so heartbreaking. It’s tough even to think about.

Lisa McLellan
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Sonya Lenzo October 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

My grandfathers, my husband, my brother-in-law, my college room mate,all served. We do have a tendency to take it for granted don’t we? Bless you for being there.
Sonya Lenzo

Covert Hypnosis October 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Hearing a soldier die, anywhere, is always a tragedy.

Lance Cpl Frankie Watson will definitely be in my thoughts today.

Mark Hogan

Eva Palmer October 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Here in Spain we still cry for those that died during our civil war 70 years ago. Hopefully on day there will be no need to defend ourselves from our brothers and sisters.

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Neil Dhawan October 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Thank you for the important reminder, Dennis! This reminds me of something I saw recently and would like to share – excuse the religious overtone, but that’s not the main focus of the following:

“Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, the other died for your freedom.” Thank you to Lance Cpl. Watson for his brave service … may he rest in peace.

Stay Extraordinary and Do Great Things, Neil
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Kevin Bettencourt October 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm

As we watch our favorite teams, listen to our favorite music, and take in some movies, we sometimes forget who the real heros are.

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