The Month of May Begins with Two Touchstones of U.S. Service
- Jeremy Morrison
As the month begins, we have been offered some somber touchstones for such service and sacrifice. On May 3, the country bid farewell to its oldest living World War II veteran and also suffered its most recent loss when a Navy SEAL was killed in Iraq.
Charles Keating IV, a U.S. Navy SEAL assisting in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq, was killed when ISIS militants broke through a line held by Kurdish Peshmerga forces. He was 31-years-old.
Keating enlisted in the Navy in 2007. He was on his third tour in Iraq, having also served in Afghanistan. The death of the decorated Special Warfare Operator 1st Class marks the third U.S. combat loss since American forces were sent back to Iraq to advise local forces in the fight against ISIS.
Prior to joining the Navy, Keating was a standout track star. As a student at Arcadia High School in Phoenix, Ariz., he racked up a string of city and regional championships in the 1,600-meter run. He went on to join the 2004-2005 Indiana University track team that finished as Big Ten runner up in both its indoor and outdoor seasons.
Keating was also the grandson of Charles Keating Jr. who served in the military as a Navy pilot in WWII. Keating’s great-grandfather was also a veteran, having served in WWI.
Oldest Known WWII Veteran Passes
On the same day Keating was killed in Iraq, America lost another service member, its oldest WWII veteran. After a long life, which included years in the U.S. Army, Frank Livingston passed away at 110-years-old.
Livingston joined the Army in 1942. He served as a private during the Allied invasion of Italy.
After getting out of the Army, Livingston settled in Louisiana. He worked as a cement finisher and never married.
During a December 2015 trip to Washington D.C., Livingston reflected on his time in Italy in North Africa: "I was so glad to get out of that place.”
Upon turning 110-years-old the previous month, the Army veteran shared a few words with KPLC-TV, out of Lake Charles, La., where he lived.
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