PATRICK WATKINS

Patrick Watkins2014 Honoree

Marine Corps, Army, Vietnam
Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and other awards

Just after graduating from high school, Patrick Watkins turned down a track scholarship and enlisted in the Marine Corps, marking the beginning of a heroic career that lasted 24 years.

During his seven years in the Marine Corps, he was deployed to Lebanon in 1958 and then in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After his service in the Corps, Watkins enlisted in the Army and served in the 82nd Airborne with Operation Power Pack in the Dominican Republic and then with Special Forces—something he had always wanted to do.

In 1967, Watkins volunteered for Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observation Group (MACVSOG), a clandestine operation that conducted classified cross-border operations into Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and North Vietnam. The work was intense and often deadly for the men who were involved. Casualties in Watkins’ unit were extremely high.

Watkins served three tours over 27 months in Southeast Asia and led many cross-border operations. He was known for his exceptional skills as a covey rider and for his skills in coordinating air to ground assets. He was also a reconnaissance team leader.

These skills were evident on August 23, 1968, when a group of highly trained Vietnamese sappers executed a surprise attack in Da Nang at FOB-4. Although he was wounded in the initial assault, Watkins organized his men into a defensive attack position while rescuing the wounded. Through machine gun fire and grenades Watkins continued to direct the recovery of the wounded, even rushing a sniper to stop further wounding of American soldiers. Although the attack was one of the most deadly in special forces history—with 18 killed and more than 30 wounded—Watkins’ efforts helped save the lives of many. In the end, the men were able to successfully defend the compound. For his service, Watkins was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Watkins continued to serve by teaching survival and land navigation skills to ROTC cadets at the University of Utah prior to retiring from the military in 1980. He then worked for the University of Utah Athletics Department, as technical writer for Hercules Aerospace, and later as the Safety Manager for the Veterans Administration. He now lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife Carol who is also a fellow Marine.

Reflecting on his service, Watkins is adamant that people must really think about things before getting involved in a war: “Terrible things happen in war and politicians need to contemplate all those things before our troops are sent to sacrifice.”

70-331
EX300
1Z0-060
MB2-701
70-467
EX200
350-001
700-505
640-911
M70-301
70-489
220-802
700-501
050-SEPROAUTH-02
M70-101
70-458
CCD-410
70-341
70-464
70-680
74-335
640-554
350-018
C_TFIN52_66
HP0-J73
70-687
ICBB
70-457
N10-005
1Z0-061
220-801
70-465
C4090-958
MB6-700
OG0-093
646-206
EX0-001
70-413
M70-201
117-101
810-420
C2180-276
C4040-221
1Z0-599
350-029
820-421
C_THR12_66
117-102
70-342
70-460
74-338
MB6-871
200-101
70-484
C2090-303
MB6-886
70-410
70-461
70-462
200-120
70-488
MB2-703
70-411
MB5-705
C_TADM51_731
70-346
70-486
70-347
70-480
70-483
70-412
70-463
MB2-700
70-417
C_TAW12_731
400-101
MB2-702
70-487
70-243
VCP-550
70-414
70-466
100-101
JN0-102
VCP550
640-554
70-331
EX300
1Z0-060
MB2-701
70-467
EX200
350-001
700-505
640-911
M70-301
70-489
220-802
700-501
050-SEPROAUTH-02
M70-101
70-458
CCD-410
70-341
70-464
70-680
74-335
350-018
C_TFIN52_66
HP0-J73
70-687
ICBB
70-457
N10-005
1Z0-061
220-801
70-465
C4090-958
MB6-700
OG0-093
646-206
EX0-001
70-413
M70-201
117-101
810-420
C2180-276
C4040-221
1Z0-599
350-029
820-421
C_THR12_66
117-102
70-342
70-460
74-338
MB6-871
200-101
70-484
C2090-303
MB6-886
70-410
70-461
70-462
200-120
70-488
MB2-703
70-411
MB5-705
C_TADM51_731
70-346
70-486
70-347
70-480
70-483
70-412
70-463
MB2-700
70-417
C_TAW12_731
400-101
MB2-702
70-487
70-243
VCP-550
70-414
70-466
100-101
JN0-102
VCP550
640-554
70-331
EX300
1Z0-060
MB2-701
70-467
EX200
350-001
700-505
640-911
M70-301
70-489
220-802
700-501
050-SEPROAUTH-02
M70-101
70-458
CCD-410
70-341
70-464
70-680
74-335
350-018
C_TFIN52_66
HP0-J73
70-687
ICBB
70-457
N10-005
1Z0-061
220-801
70-465
C4090-958
MB6-700
OG0-093
646-206
EX0-001
70-413
M70-201
117-101
810-420
C2180-276
C4040-221
1Z0-599
350-029
820-421
C_THR12_66
117-102
70-342
70-460
74-338
MB6-871
200-101
70-484
C2090-303
MB6-886
70-410
70-461
70-462
200-120
70-488
MB2-703
70-411
MB5-705
C_TADM51_731
70-346
70-486
70-347
70-480
C_TAW12_731
400-101
MB2-702
70-487
70-243
VCP-550
70-414
70-466
100-101
JN0-102
VCP550
640-554

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