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BMT (RIP)
12-04-2009, 07:16
From: Congressman Jeff Miller
Sent: Nov 30, 2009 5:58 PM
Subject: Miller Newsletter -- Sgt. Leonard B. Keller


Many Americans woke up this morning and turned on the television or
searched the internet to find out the latest on Tiger Woods and his wrecked
black Cadillac Escalade. However, on this rainy morning in Northern
Virginia, another black Cadillac meandered through rolling hills on hallowed
ground. This vehicle carried Medal of Honor recipient, Sergeant Leonard B.
Keller, to his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.
While a high profile athlete remained ensconced in his luxury
mansion behind the walls of his gated community, a caisson with six black
horses slowly walked along the rain soaked asphalt. Family members
followed, huddled close to each other beneath umbrellas trying to shield
themselves from the rainy and dreary cold morning. They came to pay tribute
to a father, grandfather, brother, and friend.
As the cars drove past on State Road 110 and planes flew overhead
leaving Reagan National Airport, I am sure no one knew who was being buried,
their name, age, or hometown. On this day it was a man who showed uncommon
valor in the jungles of Vietnam.


On May 2, 1967, Sergeant Leonard B. Keller and his unit were
sweeping through an area in Vietnam where an enemy ambush had occurred
earlier. The unit suddenly came under intense automatic weapons and
small-arms fire from a number of enemy bunkers and numerous snipers in
nearby trees. Sgt. Keller quickly moved to a position where he could fire at
a bunker from which automatic fire was received, killing one Viet Cong who
attempted to escape. Leaping to the top of a dike, he and a comrade charged
the enemy bunkers, dangerously exposing themselves to the enemy fire. Armed
with a light machine gun, Sgt. Keller and his comrade began a systematic
assault on the enemy bunkers. While Sgt. Keller neutralized the fire from
the first bunker with his machinegun, the other soldier threw in a hand
grenade, killing its occupant. Then he and the other soldier charged a
second bunker, killing its occupant. A third bunker contained an automatic
rifleman who had pinned down much of the friendly platoon. Again, with utter
disregard for the fire directed to them, the two men charged, killing the
enemy within.
Continuing their attack, Sgt. Keller and his comrade assaulted four
more bunkers and eliminated the enemy threat. During their furious assault,
Sgt. Keller and his comrade had been almost continuously exposed to intense
sniper fire as the enemy desperately sought to stop their attack. The
ferocity of their assault had carried the soldiers beyond the line of
bunkers into the tree line, forcing snipers to flee. The two men gave
immediate chase, driving the enemy away from the friendly unit. When his
ammunition was exhausted, Sgt. Keller returned to the platoon to assist in
the evacuation of the wounded. The two-man assault had driven an enemy
platoon from a well prepared position, accounted for numerous enemy dead,
and prevented further friendly casualties. Sgt. Keller's selfless heroism
and indomitable fighting spirit saved the lives of many of his comrades and
inflicted serious damage on the enemy.
People fall from grace from time to time -- politicians, athletes,
pastors, and others. We are human and far from perfect. Why is it that so
many are more interested in the tabloid news of today than the true life
stories of real Americans, real heroes? Those who always give more than
they take. Those who are determined to leave this world a better place than
they found it.
This morning a man was buried in the hallowed ground of Arlington
National Cemetery. A man of simple means. Not a billionaire or a star
athlete. Too often we put more attention on work or the material things a
person has rather than the things a person does.
As I stood at the gravesite this morning and watched the four other
Medal of Honor recipients in attendance salute as soldiers slowly folded the
American flag that draped Sgt. Keller's casket, I was reminded of the
thousands of men and women who make tremendous sacrifices defending this
great nation. Sgt. Keller and the 92 living Medal of Honor recipients are
heroes in every sense of the word. They have all answered the call of duty,
but more than that, they have placed the lives of others and the liberty of
an entire nation above their own lives. They were all willing to make the
ultimate sacrifice so that we may all enjoy the fruits of freedom.
On this week after Thanksgiving, I am thankful for heroes like Sgt.
Leonard B. Keller. May God Bless Sgt. Keller and his family.

Dozer523
12-04-2009, 07:35
Rest in Peace, Hero. You will be missed.
I wondered about the "comrade". He was Raymond R Wright SP4.
This was a true Non-Commissioned Officer "Follow Me and Do As I Do" experience.
spectacular! http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/citations_living/vn_a_wright.html

SGT Keller's citation. http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/citations_living/vn_a_keller.html

The Reaper
12-04-2009, 07:43
RIP, Sergeant.

Thank you for your service, and your example of valor, above and beyond.

TR

JJ_BPK
12-04-2009, 08:02
RIP Sgt Keller, Vaya con Dios..

dennisw
12-04-2009, 08:09
It's refreshing to hear something from a politician which actually makes sense. Congressman Jeff Miller should be commended for his words.

RIP Sgt. Leonard B. Keller. Thank you for your service and the example you set for us all.

Red Flag 1
12-04-2009, 12:41
Rest In Peace Sgt Keller!!

Thank you for your service, and your sacrifice!!

1stindoor
12-04-2009, 17:11
Rest in Peace brother

Tatonka316
12-04-2009, 19:03
Rest in Peace, SGT. The hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery are that much more special because of you and all you have done. Thank you for your service, your valor and ALL you have done for our country.

molon labe

LongWire
12-04-2009, 19:47
RIP Sergeant......Thank You for being there for all of Us

Stingray
12-04-2009, 23:57
Rest in Peace Sgt. Keller. Thank you for your service.

I too, am grateful for heroes like you.

A fantastic letter by the Congressman.

Sincerely,

Rogue
12-05-2009, 10:31
Rest in Peace

SF_BHT
12-05-2009, 11:13
Rest in Peace.......

greenberetTFS
12-05-2009, 12:16
Rest in Peace, Warrior .....................:(

Big Teddy