Charles Keating IV, A Fallen Hero, Was Honored By His City
Charles Keating IV, a Navy SEAL killed in Iraq, was honored by thousands as he was laid to rest. Keating IV, the grandson of disgraced financier Charles Keating and a former athlete, was killed in Irbil during a gun battle with ISIS earlier this month.
Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV, 31, a hero from Phoenix, Arizona, who was killed in Irbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, was mourned in silence by thousands of friends, family members, soldiers, sailors, and strangers during the funeral procession in Coronado, California.
The U.S. Navy SEAL, who was the grandson of infamous banker Charles Keating, was also a former cross-country runner, and he was killed this month. According to a statement issued by the American government, it was revealed that Keating died after being shot by ISIS members.
Mr. Keating was ambushed by around 100 jihadi fighters in Irbil as he was trying to help an aide of military advisers. His Coronado-based SEAL Team 1 said in a statement:
“…31-year-old Keating, who grew up in Phoenix, was a dedicated and professional SEAL, a true warrior. The legacy he leaves behind, for his fellow SEALs and for those who knew him, is unmistakable. He died bravely, doing what he loved, and what he believed in.”
On Friday, a funeral for Keating, a Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, was held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. After the service, a hearse carrying Keating’s remains drove down Sixth before turning and making its way over the Coronado Bridge.
The large crowd holding flags stood in silence, and some wept as the casket of Charles Keating IV was carried out. He was laid to rest at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.
Lt. Beth Teach, a spokeswoman for the SEALs, explained that on Thursday that Keating was posthumously awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest combat medal “for his heroic actions during a March battle against Islamic State fighters in Iraq.” Teach also revealed that he received a Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon for what he did the day he was killed.
The spokeswoman went on to make the surprising revelation that before his enlistment Charles Keating and Brooke Clark decided to wed quietly and the couple was looking forward to holding a traditional wedding ceremony with family and friends in November.
Keating’s younger brother, Billy, also an enlisted SEAL, told mourners:
“He gave his life to protect his brothers.”
Denise Gallagher, 56, who was sporting a Navy cap, cried as she watched the casket being carried out. She explained:
“Being a mother of two boys in the service, my heart goes out with full condolences to the family,” she said. “He was such a hero, and I think the welcome that everybody’s given him here in this town is just amazing. We’re just here to support and honor our hero.”
Coronado High School’s principal Jennifer Moore said many of her students have parents or older brothers, who are SEALs. She stated:
“Or they want to be SEALs themselves. It’s just a strong part of Coronado culture.”
Mateo Garcia, a high school freshman, who wants to become a Marine, shared:
“It’s a horrible thing that happened, but it’s great that the community comes to together to honor a fallen warrior.”
Charles Keating IV is the third US service member to have died in the conflict in Iraq since U.S. forces returned in 2014.