YULEE, FL, US
U. S. Army
SPC, HQ AND HQ TROOP, 3RD SQD, 2ND STRYKER CAV REGT, VILSECK, GERMANY
12/08/2010, CHEHEL GAZI, AFGHANISTAN
Specialist Kelly Joseph Mixon of Fernandina Beach, Florida was killed in action in Chehel Gazi, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, on December 8, 2010. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilsek, Germany and was half way through a 12-month assignment in Afghanistan. Specialist Kelly would have turned 24 just two weeks after his death and had married just before he deployed.
Kelly was a graduate of Fernandina Beach High School, where he was an accomplished drummer with the FBHS Mighty Pirate Marching Band; later, he was selected for the Jacksonville Jaguars drum line from 2005-2006. Kelly was employed for five years with P.L.A.E. restaurant at the Plantation, where he worked his way up to sous chef. It was at P.L.A.E. that he met his wife, Amy, who is an executive sous chef.
After leaving the Army Kelly planned to use the G.I. Bill to attend a 4-year culinary institute and fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming an executive chef. Kelly loved drumming, fishing, hunting and cooking. He had a great sense of humor and a beautiful smile. His favorite memories were of times spent with his extended family and friends.
Kelly Mixon had talked for years, on and off, about enlisting in some branch of the military, when he signed up a few years after high school, it was clear he’d made the right choice.
When Kelly came home from Afghanistan for Thanksgiving, he got to do two of his favorite things: enjoy time cooking in the kitchen and play the drums. It was a happy time, family and friends say, tinged with worries about how the rest of his deployment would go.
Those who saw him knew that he was happier than they had seen him in a long time. At times Kelly could be a bit rebellious, but he was not afraid to be himself in front of others. His adventuresome personality was not a good match for military service and seemed to fit his direction to become an Army sniper. His leadership in his Jacksonville Jaguars drum line demonstrated how he sought to be the best at what he did. When he came home for Thanksgiving, he stopped by and practiced with the current band members at the high school.
He is survived by his wife, Amy, of Fernandina Beach, parents, sister and brother, grandparents of Fernandina Beach, as well as many extended family and friends.