Washington County Sheriff's Department Deputy 1st Class Daniel Watson told a group gathered at the Washington County Courthouse Friday that they, and every American citizen, "have given my life great meaning."
During a Veterans Day ceremony Friday on the steps of the courthouse, Watson, a U.S. Navy Seabee who served with a tactical movements team with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion in Iraq from September 2004 to March 2005, said he feels honored to be a veteran.
He said Veterans Day "has come to mean much more to us as more and more years pass by."
Watson paid tribute to his childhood friend, Ryan Brandt Young, who, along with three other contractors, was performing high-risk diplomatic security in Basra, Iraq, when a bomb destroyed the heavily armored vehicle in which they were riding on Sept. 7.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1936 color guard members stood at attention as about 30 representatives of veterans groups and local and state government took turns placing wreaths in front of the veterans memorial in front of the courthouse.