A United States Navy SEAL soldier was killed in Iraq during combat against the Islamic State group on Tuesday. He was attacked while helping Christian and Kurdish militants fight against the ISIS in Northern Iraq.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey released a statement in which he identified the US service member as Charlie Keating IV, 31. “Our state and nation are in mourning today over the loss of a US serviceman –- and one of America’s finest. Navy SEAL Charlie Keating, a graduate of Arcadia High School in Phoenix, was killed this morning in an ISIS attack in Iraq,” Ducey’s statement read. The statement also ordered the state flags across Arizona to be lowered to a half-mast on Wednesday on the day of his funeral.
“Our thoughts, prayers, and eternal gratitude are with Charlie Keating, his family, his fellow SEALs, and all of the brave Americans who’ve answered the call to serve,” the statement added.
ABC News reported that Keating is the third US casualty in the ISIS combat in Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter learned about the news in Stuttgart, Germany where he attended the change-of-command ceremony at US European Command. “I’m getting reports a US service member has been killed in Iraq,” Carter said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with that service member’s family.”
Besides focusing on Keating’s death reports, Carter also emphasised on the combat risks the 5,000 US troops were facing in Iraq. Although they are trained and assisted for the mission, their lives are under continuous threat. Their efforts show how serious the nation is to fight against the ISIS in Iraq.
According to CBS News, Keating attended the Naval Academy prior to joining the Navy SEALs in San Diego, California. He graduated in 2004 from Phoenix’s Arcadia High School. He was planning to get married in November, according to his high school track coach. Indiana University stated that during his senior year, Keating was the recipient of the all-city and first-team all-state honours during his running/track days.