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Soldier killed while aiding comrade in combat
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A 3rd Infantry Division soldier was killed in Iraq last week as he attempted to help an injured comrade during combat.
The Department of Defense, in a statement released Monday, said Sgt. Samuel E. Kelsey died Dec. 13 after suffering wounds from an improvised explosive device blast in Tunnis, Iraq.
The 24-year-old combat engineer was aiding a fellow soldier whose legs had been damaged in an IED attack when a second device was detonated near him, according to the soldier’s mother.
“He felt strongly about wanting his men, every one of them, to come home,” Denina Kelsey told the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “He was saving somebody else’s life, and my child lost his life.”
Family friend Ava Johnson told reporters everyone in Kelsey’s tight-knit hometown of Troup, Texas, which has about 2,100 residents, was mourning the death of the young soldier, but his grieving mother said no one could truly feel the pain she is experiencing.
“He was my life, my breath, everything I did in my life I did for my child,” Denina Kelsey said. “He was my only child, and I am his only parent.”
Kelsey was assigned to the 3rd ID’s 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. He joined the Army in March 2003 and arrived at Fort Stewart in March 2007.
He was on his second tour in Iraq when he was killed.
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