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Remembering Charles Keating

Charlie Keating, Navy SEAL

Funeral precession and ceremony for Charlie Keating

Many lined the streets of the Southern California military town of Coronado to honor a special warfare operator killed in Iraq. Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV was killed in a gun battle with Islamic State fighters in May, 2016.

Growing up

Charles Keating IV graduated from Arcadia High in 2004 and went on to compete for the cross country team at the University of Indiana. In high school as a sophomore, he was city and regional champion in the 1,600-meter run. Keating earned all-city and first-team all-state honors as a high school senior. Charlie often ran more than 70 miles a week, sometimes requiring him to receive permission from school officials to miss his classes. During high school, Keating spent threCharlie Keating at age 15 in front of a TV recording of a TV show he was one weeks in a steamy Costa Rican jungle, eating only beans and rice while he and fellow adventurers paddled canoes up to 40 miles a day, as part of the TV series set in Latin American. Teens on the show were not allowed to contact their families during the three-week trip, although they could receive letters. For being on the show, he received $300. But the experience was priceless.

Charlie was about 16 years old when 9/11 occurred. He was at an impressionable age and knew then that he wanted to make an impact. That moment sparked a flame in him that would ember and smoke through his days in college while majoring in business. After completing two athletic seasons, that flame caught fire. Keating IV decided to join the Navy and pursue an ultimately successful bid to become a SEAL, one of the most prestigious military units in the world.

Life as a SEAL

In 2008, Charles finished SEAL training in less than 18 months. To finish in such a short period of time was almost unheard of. An even more impressive feat is that Keating did it with no breaks for sickness or injury. Many say he was a real-life superhero. He had a sense of purpose, and he loved what he was doing. Charles was finally living out his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, serving his country, and making a difference in the world. He would go on to see three deployments during his years of service. His first was for Operation Iraqi Freedom and his second for Afghanistan’s Operation Enduring Freedom.

He was on his third deployment to Iraq when he tragically lost his life in battle. Keating, a Special Warfare Operator 1st Class, came in contact with fighters on May 3rd, as part of a quick-reaction force, backing up American troops advising Kurdish fighters. He was called to help extract a U.S. military working team that came under fire by a group of more than 120 ISIS fighters. Charles was the third American servicemen to die since the U.S led coalition launched its attack on ISIS forces in 2014. American and Peshmerga forces fought the ISIS militants for two hours before Keating was killed by direct fire from the force that broke through Peshmerga lines. ISIS, with over 120 fights and 20 vehicles, destroyed the Peshmerga checkpoint as they crossed into the frontline and engaged in battle for more than 12 hours.

The name lives on

Charlie Keating, Navy SEALCharlie was known was known as ‘C4’ because he had the same name as three generations before him, and the nickname was also fitting to his personality. Keating came from a well-known family of high achievers, but he did not care about the fame or infamy that came from his family name. From the elite track runner to the invincible Navy SEAL, Keating always had a positive impact. You always wanted him on your team. He was truly a hero in many people’s eyes. The legacy he leaves behind, for his fellow SEALs  and for those who knew him best, is unmistakable, he died bravely, doing what he loved, and what he believed in.


Bobby Atkisson

Bobby Atkisson

Bobby Atkisson is a seasoned mortgage professional who provides high quality financial services to military members and veterans. With over 14 years experience in the lending and financial industry, his mission is to provide high quality mortgage programs with the most competitive interest rates. For expert advice and guidance on VA Home Loans and Refinance, contact Bobby today at 800-537-2050.