The U.S. Senate approved a resolution on Wednesday remembering three service members killed in a terrorist attack at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola in 2019, including one from Enterprise.
The resolution was introduced by a bipartisan coalition of senators, including U.S. Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) and Katie Britt (R-Montgomery).
It honored Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson of Enterprise, who, at the age of 23, lost his life after a Saudi Arabian pilot opened fire at the military facility in Pensacola, Florida, on Dec. 6, 2019.
Watson had just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy that year. There, he had been on the Dean's List and served as captain of the rifle team.
Before deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office (ECSO) shot and killed the perpetrator, Watson made it outside, sustaining multiple gunshot wounds, and informed the first response team about the location of the shooter.
The other two victims in the attack were students at the Naval Aviation Schools Command: Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters.
The FBI later identified the perpetrator as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force. Alshamarani was participating in training at the station and had been critical of U.S. relations with Israel. Federal investigators suggested the shooting was motivated by "jihadist ideology."
"Ensign Watson embodied the spirit of American heroism, standing tall in the face of terrorism to save others — even at the expense of his own life," said Tuberville following the passage of the resolution. "His courage and quick action saved countless lives on a tragic day for our nation. Today, we pray for his family, friends, and fellow soldiers who still grieve the absence of a life taken too soon. We will continue to share Joshua Kaleb Watson's story of patriotism, service, and sacrifice, to ensure his memory lives on forever."
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