A New Jersey Hero

From an email…

“I was very moved when I received an email with the funeral pictures. I too… attended a funeral procession for Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, in the small town of Pitman NJ.

I have never seen anything like the pride and honor shown by the people of our small town. Elementary school children left their classrooms to line the procession route. Residents of a group home in their wheel chairs lined the street holding flags. Fireman, policemen, and other military officers dressed in their formals stood at attention.

These heroes deserve this and more. Thank you for sharing your home town story… it is very sad to realize that this is happening in many communities across the country.”

Brenda D.

On February 23, 2005 Acting Governor Codey ordered flags to fly half-staff to honor U.S Marine Corps Corporal Sean P. Kelly

Honoring Corporal Sean P. Kelly, a New Jersey Hero

Cpl. Sean P Kelly(L) and LCpl. Joseph B Spence, in Kuwait.

Cpl. Kelly was one of 31 military personnel who were killed when their helicopter crashed in a sandstorm outside of Baghdad. There were no survivors among the 30 Marines and one Navy corpsman in the CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter that crashed near Ar Rutbah, about 220 miles west of Baghdad.

Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, age 23 was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq on January 26, 2005. Sean grew up in Pitman and was a graduate of Pitman High School Class of 2000. He entered the U.S. Marine Corps in December 2001. Sean was an avid sports fan and loved life.

Sean P. Kelly

He is survived by his wife Jessica D. (nee Jenkins) of Washington Twp., his parents Alexander and Lynn M. (nee Taggart) of Pitman, NJ, brothers Jason of Clayton, NJ, Ryan of Camp Lejeune, NC, maternal grandmother Dorothy Taggart of Pitman, mother- and father-in-law Dianne and David Barnhardt of Washington Twp., NJ, and brothers-in-law Paul and Bryan Jenkins also of Washington Twp.

Cpl. Sean P. Kelly wrote these words in the autumn of 2004:

We not only had issues trying to do our job in a hostile environment where rocket fire and stray RPGs were the norm, we also had to provide support to the Jordanian Army that has different procedures and standards. It took a lot of patience and hard work from both sides to understand each other and live together. Working with an army within the coalition for Operation Enduring Freedom can be very challenging, but very rewarding. It provides a firsthand look at how different coalition forces operate, interact, live and overcome cultural differences. It also provides an insight on how different countries view their roles in the global war on terrorism.

Today let us honor Corporal Sean P. Kelly, a New Jersey Hero.

Previous Posts in the “Hero Series”:
Ohio Honors Their Heroes
Texas Honors A Hero
Georgia Honors its Heroes
Illinois Honors A Hero
Missouri Honors an Army Hero
Missouri Welcomes Home a War Hero
Utah Welcomes Home a War Hero

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