Fallen Navy Charles Keating IV, who was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, is already a decorated American Hero. While his receipt of the nation’s third highest award for valor is public knowledge, CNN has recently discovered the details of the encounter that cost the special operator his life.
Keating was killed in Iraq while helping to rescue a small team of U.S. military advisers and Kurdish forces from an attack mounted by more than 100 ISIS fighters.
According to local news station Fox 59, the he was a “decorated combat veteran and star athlete who decided to enlist after the 9/11 attacks, Keating was part of a Navy SEAL operation in northern Iraq called Task Force Trident working with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters combating ISIS.”
CNN reported that a group of Navy SEALs and local Peshmerga forces were attacked by a large unit of ISIS fighters that had overwhelmed the Kurdish front line by rushing in with bulldozers, trucks and weapons. It was the SEAL deployment in response to this attack that led to Keating’s death.
While fighting alongside his fellow soldiers, Keating’s machine gun malfunctioned. He fell back to retrieve a sniper rifle, and then climbed on top of a building to fire on the ISIS fighters. Once he was sighted, Keating was hit by enemy fire.
He was grabbed by two other SEALs and loaded on to a medical helicopter, which was hit on its way to the hospital where he was ultimately declared dead.
The full original report can be read on Keating’s hometown news site linked below.