EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A 14 News Follow up on the Army Specialist from Evansville who was killed in a training accident in Washington on Sunday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
23-year-old Drew Watters was a two sport varsity athlete at North High School before enlisting in the Army in 2015.
His lifelong friends say he was true role model, on and off the field.
Tuesday was the first time that Max Mooney and Brock Underwood had been back on North High School’s football field since they graduated in 2013.
But this time, they were without their best friend and former teammate Drew Watters beside them.
“I honestly feel worse for the people that never got to meet him than how I’m hurting, how we’re all hurting right now, for the people that did get to meet him. He truly was a special guy. My best friend. He was a good dude. He’s a good one," Mooney said through tears while Underwood put a hand on his shoulder.
“He was the guy that was always leading, whether it be in football or basketball or just in life he was a real lead by example kind of guy," Underwood said.
Mooney said the last conversation he had with Watters was one he will always cherish.
“It was one of the best phone calls of my life. I asked him to be my best man in my wedding next year. And hearing him and how happy he was to be asked... I’m just glad that he knew what he meant to me before this accident happened. But he was truly just a good friend that I’m going to miss a lot. That we’re all going to miss a lot,” Mooney said tearfully.
They said his laugh and humor were contagious.
“He was just one of those guys that you wanted to be around,” Underwood said.
They shared stories of outrageous and funny things Watters did, always bringing a smile and joy to any situation.
Like the time he got the wind knocked out of him in their first football game and proceeded to take a knee in the middle of the field and throw up in front of the entire crowd and then running off the field with a smile, fist pumping, and cheering.
“It was one of the nastiest things that people would probably remember, but it was one of the funniest things that we probably remember,” Underwood said.
Mooney and Underwood laughed, saying they remember it like it was yesterday and they never let Watters live that moment down.
But they said Watters also had a heart of gold.
“You couldn’t ask him how he was doing before he asked you and he was all about it. He was not one of those guys that just listens to blow smoke," Mooney said.
Underwood called Watters a true role model.
“It doesn’t matter where he was or what we were doing. He was always going to do the right thing," Underwood said.
They describe him as a true friend, a proud Hoosier, and an incredible new father and husband.
“I was lucky enough to be there on his wedding day and I was there next to him as his best man and that was one of the best days of my life just seeing how truly happy he was. And I can’t wait to meet his son and see him grow up and hopefully he’s just like his dad because we can’t have too many Drew Watters,” Mooney said with a smile.
Mooney and Underwood said they plan to take Watters' wife and two month old son under their wing when they get home from Washington.
“I’m happy to get Carley and his son Jack back here and be apart of their lives from now on as much as we can for him," Mooney said getting emotional.
“We’re all proud of the kind of man Drew really was and he’s just one of a kind,” he said.
The kind who's sacrifice and service will live on through his loved ones.