At Samuel E. Kelsey's funeral, his mother said he set her moods, and still does.
"I have said to everyone, 'Smile,'" Denina Kelsey said. "No tears, 'cause that was Sam."
Kelsey, 24, of Troup, Texas, was killed by an explosion southwest of Baghdad near the city of Iskandiriyah on Dec. 13. He was killed while helping another soldier who had been hurt.
"He felt strongly about wanting his men, every one of them, to come home," Denina Kelsey said. "He was saving somebody else's life, and my child lost his life."
Kelsey's company commander, Capt. Chris Neels, recommended that a new patrol base be named in his honor. Patrol Base Kelsey was established Dec. 23.
"Enough can't be said of him or his actions that day. Each time we clear routes in the area or hear Patrol Base Kelsey over the radio, we'll be reminded of his heroic actions and our friend," Neels said.
He was a 2001 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Stewart.
"He was my life, my breath, everything I did in my life I did for my child," Denina Kelsey said. "He was my only child, and I am his only parent."
Published online on Dec. 16, 2007