INDIANAPOLIS, IN, USA
SPC, 961ST ENGINEER COMPANY, 844TH ENG BN, 555TH ENGINEER BRIGADE, SHARONVILLE, OH
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 06/19/2009
From Chancellor’s mom:
“Chancellor is our middle child and he has a brother and one sister. The kids were like peas in a pod and shared a wonderful relationship. Chance is his nickname and he enjoyed the outdoors and physical activities. Children loved Chance and they would be all over him. Chance always took the time to listen and cared a lot about his friends and family. I could always look forward to a mother’s day and birthday card from him. This was Chance second deployment and a lot of wonderful stories came back from the soldiers in his platoon in Iraq about his dedication to his work and fellow soldiers. Chancellor is dearly loved and was just an amazing son.”
From Chance’s father:
“I want to relate one of the last times Chance and I were together. We had gone to drop off our Kenyan exchange student and were travelling back together – I am a big Frank Zappa fan and popped in some of his guitar work – as we were driving and listening Chance told me a story about when he got his CDL license – bunch of old hippie guys like his dad were doing the training. During the day the old guys got into a bit of an argument of who the best guitar player ever was – the battle was between Hendrix, Clapton and Jeff Beck – when my son shot up “no it is Frank Zappa – he was a great guitar player, but he was also a composer who covered all kinds of music” Then Chance looked at me in the car and said “I was right wasn’t I” – I said “you sure are son” I tell you this story because Chance always wanted to please others. I am pretty sure he at best was only mildly interested in Zappa – yet he went out of his way to understand something that interested his dad greatly – and he was very happy to make me proud by knowing something that someone his age mostly would not.”
The Department of Defense says Army Specialist Chancellor A. Keesling of Indianapolis died Friday in Baghdad.
Keesling was assigned to the 961st Engineer Company out of Sharonville, Ohio. He was serving his second tour in Iraq and had just arrived in Baghdad two weeks ago. His parents say he was reluctant to go a second time but went because it was his duty as a soldier.
Gregg and Jannett Keesling just watched their son’s body, Army Specialist Chancellor Keesling, return to Dover Air Force Base.
“It’s a finale. It’s an actual reality check and when I knew that you are actually going to see the box. You face the fact that he’s right here in this box,” Jannett said.
Chancy, as he was often called, did not come from a military family. In fact his sister tried to discourage him. His parents say he was a good soldier. But this tour wasn’t going well. Through emails, Gregg and Jannett knew he was troubled.
“A lot of them were like, I’m trying to get settled in. It’s hot, it’s miserable. It has been a tough deployment for me so far. I miss you guys a lot,” Jannett said.
And so this tight knit Jamaican family wants to celebrate Chancy’s life. Jannett runs an organization that helps the needy called Keys To Work and they plan to give all donations to help a homeless woman named Mary-Anne all in Chancy’s honor.
“So if we can help and reach out to you now to help you. We couldn’t reach out to Chancy, we couldn’t reach him in the time needed. Hopefully we can help now,” Gregg said.