JOINT BASE CAPE COD, Mass. – A wreath-laying ceremony to honor the memory of the first fallen Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldier killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, took place today June 7, 2015, on TTB Base Kelley, Camp Edwards, Mass.
The Tactical Training Base is named in honor of Sgt. Michael J. Kelley, of Scituate. Kelley died on June 8, 2005 in Shkin, Afghanistan, when his helicopter landing zone came under enemy fire. Kelley was assigned to Battery E (Target Acquisition), 101st Field Artillery Regiment, Massachusetts Army National Guard.
TTB Kelley was first dedicated in Kelley’s name in June 2008 during a memorial ceremony that were attended by family and friends. A re-dedication took place in June 2009 that was attended by Kelley’s extended family.
Kelley graduated from Scituate High School in 1997. Upon graduation, Kelley joined the Massachusetts National Guard in an effort to attend college and gain skills in the civilian aviation industry. After observing many of his comrades leaving home to support the War on Terror, he volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan with his unit
Kelley earned several awards and decorations during his military career including the Purple Heart Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “Mobilization” Device, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.
The training base provides Soldiers and Airmen from across the Northeast with state-of-the-art facilities for training in preparation for overseas missions.
“Our Army values are deeply grounded in the United States. Soldiers fight and die for each other. They live by the values, but serve each other. Michael upheld those values when he raised his hand and went through his training," said Col. Francis Magurn, Land Component Commander, Massachusetts National Guard.
"On that faithful day he was with and by for other Soldiers. We honor him for his courage, selfless service, loyalty, and devotion to duty. My hat is off to the Kelley family. Thank you for your deep sacrifice and for your continued honor to this country and to your son’s memory."
Mr. Joseph Kelley (father), Karianne (sister) and Colleen (sister), all spoke during the ceremony highlighting great moments of Michael Kelley.
About 100 Kelley family members, friends and Soldiers gathered at the namesake base to honor the memory and service of their own fallen hero.
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