This is another heartbreaking death at the hands of terror and fighting in the Middle East. If Obama’s rules of engagement and drip, drip, drip of fighting isn’t the fault of the death of this young man, I don’t know what is. It was reported that these Navy Seals ran low on ammo and that there were a few helping the foreign Peshmerga fight ISIS. We need to either get the hell out or go in full force. All Obama’s doing is getting our guys killed because they have one hand tied behind them. So sorry for the loss of this great American who fought against evil. Please pray for his family and friends who must be suffering tremendously right now.
Charlie Keating IV, the Navy SEAL shot dead by ISIS in Iraq on Tuesday, set aside a promising future in sports to join the terror fight overseas, according to some of his friends.
Keating, 31, died in combat in the town of Tel Askuf, likely from AK-47 fire, officials said. He was the third American serviceman to die in combat in Iraq since the U.S.-led coalition launched its anti-ISIS campaign in the summer of 2014.
The Navy SEAL was a former Phoenix high school star distance runner who went on to run cross country and track at Indiana University before attending the Naval Academy and becoming a SEAL based out of San Diego.
His cousin was the former swimming champion Gary Hall Jr., who won a total of ten medals across three Olympics. His father was a three-time All-America swimmer from 1974-77 and finished fifth in the breaststroke at the 1976 Olympics.
The Navy SEAL was part of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) sent in to rescue fewer than a dozen U.S. troops who were in the village “advising and assisting” the Kurdish Peshmerga, U.S. military spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters.
The U.S. troops who were on the ground had to fight back before the QRF troops arrived. “They fought back… They fought out,” Warren said, adding that one truck bomb and a bulldozer broke through a Peshmerga check point and began a sprint to Tel Askuf.
He said there were about 125 ISIS fighters. “This was a gunfight… There were bullets everywhere.” Warren said the ISIS fighters did not seem to know the U.S. troops were in that village, which was behind the front lines.
A 2004 graduate of Phoenix’s Arcadia High School, Keating was city and region champion in the 1,600-meter run as a sophomore, junior and senior.
Rob Reniewicki, Keating’s former track coach at Arcadia, said he has kept it touch with him through Facebook over the years, and he is heartbroken by the news. “He was a tremendous athlete, a tremendous person. I’m devastated. I’m crushed. I’m trying to hold myself together,” Reniewicki told Phoenix TV station KTVK.
Reniewicki said Keating was planning to get married in November.
“When Charlie left IU to enlist and try to become a SEAL, I don’t think it really surprised any of us,” said Robert Chapman, professor of kinesiology at IU Bloomington, who served as Indiana men’s cross country coach from 1998-2007. “You could tell he was a guy who wanted to be the best and find out what he was made of, and serving as special operations forces for his country embodied that.”
KEATING’S TRACK COACH SPEAKS ABOUT THE STAR ATHLETE:
Keating was a member of the 2004-05 Hoosiers team that was Big Ten Conference runner-up in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. He competed in the mile run.
Read more: FOX