East Texas Soldier Killed In Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


East Texas Soldier Killed In Iraq

He dedicated his life to our military and at the age of 24, was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.  That life, however, has now tragically come to an end.  Sergeant Samuel Kelsey of Troup died Thursday after his family says he was hit by an IED.  His mother and close friend say Samuel fought and served bravely up until the very end.  

Wrapped in her son's army jacket, Denina Kelsey talks about the loss of her only child.    

"He was very charming, sensitive, he loved his family and he loved his friends," said Kelsey.  Sergeant Kelsey had served in the army for five years.  He was a squadron leader and had earned the rank of sergeant.    

"It was good for him though," said Kelsey.  "He enjoyed what he did."  The last time Denina saw her son was in September, while he was on leave from his 15 month tour in Iraq.  

"I didn't want him to go back, but he told me I'll be alright momma and promised me he would come home," said Kelsey.  While her Christmas wish would be to have her son home, Denina also knows he died heroically, trying to save another soldier in his unit.  

"They said that he went back to help someone that got injured, and that's why he got killed," said Kelsey.  One of Sergeant Kelsey's best friends says that brave and self-sacrificing spirit is something people will remember most.    

"Someone who's always going to have your back and you got his and that's just the kind of guy he was.  You knew he always going to be there," said Brandon Martin.  "He was a brave man."  

"Somebody called him a hero," said Kelsey.  "Preferably, I'd like to have him home."

Sergeant Kelsey graduated from Troup High School in 2001, where his family says he was very involved in sports.

Courtney Lane, Reporting. clane@kltv.com


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