Local Fallen Hero Returns Home From Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/20/07- East Texas

Local Fallen Hero Returns Home From Iraq

They come to salute and honor a young hero. Patriot Guard Riders, local law enforcement, and other East Texans who didn't know Sam Kelsey, but are forever grateful for his ultimate sacrifice.

"We love them and we appreciate them going for us and serving our Country," said Sue Abbott.  "I hope us being here will help in some way."

"There's no greater honor as a soldier than to bring one of your own home and lay them to rest," said Army Sergeant Matthew Swanson. 

Wiping away tears, loved ones stand in solemn silence as Kelsey's body is lowered from the plane that brings him home from war.

"He was a brave man," said Brandon Martin, childhood friend. 

In a previous interview, Martin said Samuel always stood by his loved ones and that showed to the very end as he died trying to save a fellow soldier.

"Just a great guy, full of integrity and full of honor," said Martin.

An honorable life taken so young, protecting our freedom. And a sad irony for Sam's mother, who told KLTV 7 just this week she wanted her son home for the holidays... just not like this.

"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 Denina Kelsey.

Funeral services for Sergeant Kelsey will be held Friday afternoon in his hometown of Troup. He will be buried with full military honors.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com  

Powered by Frankly