KIA March 14, 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia
While facing an attack by enemy forces near Ramadi, Iraq, SPC Waterbury was killed by a sniper shot during a small-arms fire fight.
SPC Waterbury graduated from Terry High School before spending time trying to find his purpose in life. After jumping from job to job, he chose to enlist in the Army to follow his heart – to spend his career in the military before retiring after 20 years. Waterbury was a quiet, sometimes shy kid, who mostly stuck to his Legos and Transformers toys. John eventually became a M1A1 Abrams Tank Crewman; He loved his role in the Tank, and in the Army.
“He was doing what he really wanted to do,” his father, Steve Waterbury, said. “Being a tanker was his life. He loved being a tanker.”
Steve said that although his love of his job kept him going through his deployments, his love for his wife, Christi, and step-son Wesley, far surpassed that of his Army life. SPC John had a large heart, and wasn’t afraid to love big. His family and friends fondly remember him as the young man that would help anyone in need, and loyally served beside his brother-in-arms.
SPC Waterbury leaves behind his wife Christi, stepson Wesley Michaud, parents, Steve and Barbara Waterbury and brother, Christopher.
SPC Waterbury was 25 years old from Richmond, Texas.
Original portrait presented to his parents May 15, 2010 during an America Salutes You-Texas Armed Forces Day event in Amarillo, Texas