N.J. soldier killed in Iraq

PALMYRA, N.J. - August 17, 2010

Action News spoke with the mother of Specialist Jamal Rhett.

Her voice straining with emotion, Michelle Watson described the moment on Sunday when two military men came to her door to tell her that her son, 24-year old combat medic Jamal Rhett, had died in a roadside bombing in Iraq.

"Before they got to the door I knew it wasn't good," Watson said. "I just kept saying, 'No, no, no, no, no.'"

Rhett was on his third tour of duty. He was the product of the Burlington Public Schools system and the two women who adored him: his mother and his grandmother. When his grandmother died five and a half years ago, Rhett, an only child, made the commitment to serve in her honor.

"He decided to join the military. I said, 'Son, you don't have to do this.' He said, 'I know, but I want to.'"

Like any mother, she was hesitant to see her son go and so happy whenever he returned.

Exactly two years ago Action News was at Philadelphia International Airport when Rhett came home on temporary leave. Today, August 17, his remains will return to U.S. soil at Dover Air Force Base.

Michelle Watson will forever be proud of her son; now it's her faith that will help her move forward.

"As I've learned in my life and place of worship... The greatest thing a man can do is lay down is life for his friends."

Michelle Watson told us that she is numb but takes great solace in the words of others who describe her son as a good guy, well-mannered, and well-liked.

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