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Fri February 13, 2004
Governor Praises Guardsman Who Died in Wyoming
Cheyenne, Wy – A Wyoming Army National Guard soldier killed in a rollover in Wyoming is as much a hero as soldiers who died in Iraq.
That's according to Governor Dave Freudenthal.
Specialist Billy Jess Watts of Cody died February 5th while riding in an Army truck in a convoy on his way to train at Camp Guernsey.
The wreck occurred on an icy stretch of Interstate 25 near Douglas. Two other soldiers were injured.
Freudenthal says Watts' death represents every bit as much a commitment to the protection of America as the soldiers who lose their lives in Iraq.
Freudenthal attended Watts' funeral Thursday in Cody.
The governor says Watts is as much a hero as other soldiers.
Watts is survived by his wife, son and parents.
He was born and raised in Cody and graduated from Cody High School in 1994.
Following graduation he entered the Army and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and then Fort Stewart, Georgia. He returned to Cody following his discharge.
In 2003 he joined the National Guard, and was drawn for a February 22nd, 2004, deployment to Iraq.