On September 11, 2001 while still in college, USMC Corporal Chad Watson (Ret.) received a phone call from his dad asking if he saw what was happening in New York. Chad always knew he wanted to join the military after college, but those attacks confirmed his desire. In 2004, he joined the United States Marine Corps.
On November 29, 2006, Chad was on deployment in Fallujah, Iraq. He was on a mission as an Infantry Team Leader when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). Chad lost his right leg above the knee and suffered many severe injuries. Chad spent the following 22 months going through multiple surgeries and intense recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Throughout this time he was supported by his now wife, Jillian and his family. Jillian had left her Master’s program to be by his side. The couple now has three children.
Just three short months after the blast, Chad was rapidly recovering and even was able to snowboard. In the spring of 2016, Chad graduated with his MBA from Notre Dame and accepted a position with Medtronic Spine and Biologics. His job requires him to walk a lot which causes stress on his left leg. This makes it challenging to use his prosthetic for long periods of time. The Gary Sinise Foundation is looking forward to providing Chad and his family a specially adapted smart home that will ease his daily pain and provide a safe place where he can live comfortably and independently.