A cAlling

Veteran: Charles Keating IV
Artist: Michael Koulermos
Writer: Bob Schulman

Charles Keating IV had it all; a star athlete in college, handsome, and enough charisma to own any room he entered.

He had a privileged life, but he didn’t rest on it.

Just like a long line of Keating’s who served before him, he had a calling.

Because there was a war out there unlike any we have seen, against an enemy whose ambitions knew no boundaries.

And he wanted to see what he was made of in a special force that would test him like nothing else.

He died in a covert mission in Iraq fighting ISIS, and later described as “a real-life superhero,” his actions “heroic.”

Such flowery notions aren’t recognized where he worked.

The 31-year-old Special Operator 1st Class was, after all, a Navy SEAL (whose name comes from secret operations in Sea, Air, and Land), and whose creed can be summed up in encounters like this:

Pilot: “You guys are incredible. Thank you.”

Unnamed SEAL: “There’s no reason to thank us because we don’t exist. You never saw us. This never happened.”

Yet they do happen, all over the world, in remote places you can’t name, and men like Charles Keating, who perform in those high-risk missions with skill and daring, deserve our special recognition and undying thanks.

Even if they say… don’t bother.