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Family works to bring soldier home

Lory Pounder
Vail CO, Colorado

FRISCO ” All they want, all he wants, is to be home.

But instead, Army Staff Sgt. Rich Watson’s year tour in Iraq that was nearing its end has been extended by five months.

“He’s tired of killing people. Those were his words,” said his mom, Frisco resident Sharon Jones-Bird, who spoke with her son Friday.



Both she and her husband, Jerry Bird, are angry, worried and searching to find anything they can do to bring him home.

A few weeks ago, Watson woke up in a hospital in the Diyala Province after a grenade blast went off within feet of him on the street. It turned out to be friendly fire, Jerry said. He is still suffering from a concussion, has headaches, is vomiting, and has lost 15 pounds, and yet Friday he was put back on full duty, the Birds said.

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“They’re sending them back into battle when there’s no way they should be back there,” Jerry said.

Sharon wrote letters to legislators and is planning a trip in less than a week to Denver to make her voice heard. She wrote asking them to “please step forward and be loud to bring our troops home.”

“They’ve got to do something,” she said. “Fifteen months is twice as long as they can handle, emotionally, physically.”



Watson, who is a 12-year decorated soldier, has a wife, Tonya, who is staying in Texas with her family, and cares for three young children.

Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at lpounder@summitdaily.com.


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