BEAVERTON, Ore. – A local soldier from Beaverton has died in combat in Afghanistan, according to his father who spoke with KATU News on Thursday.
Pfc. Andrew Keller, 22, had just been deployed about a month ago, according to family friends.
"He is a true hero - a true hero," said Keenan Jones, one of Keller's friends. "We've lost one of the greatest people I've ever known."
According to the Department of Defense, Keller was killed when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire Aug. 15 in Charkh, which is about 50 miles south of Kabul.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.
Keller was a standout member of the Southridge High School’s football team, a team captain and a multi-sport varsity athlete.
His father, Jeff Keller, was manager of the Murrayhill Little League team that went to the Little League World Series in 2006. His younger brother, Derek Keller, was a member of that Little League team. The following statement was posted on the team's website:
The Murrayhill community was saddened to hear the news that Murrayhill family member Pfc. Andrew Keller died in combat in Afghanistan this week. Andrew was a standout athlete in the community as well as teams at Southridge High School. Andrew was a huge supporter of Murrayhill baseball. Our thoughts go out to Coach Jeff Keller and the entire Keller Family.
Andrew Keller had planned to marry his girlfriend when he returned home. His aunt sent the following statement to KATU from the family:
"Andrew is a wonderful human being who deeply cared about his fellow soldiers, his family, and the ones he loved. Thank you for honoring this amazing man." - Sharon Dudley