Family, friends remember soldier killed in Afghanistan

Family, friends remember soldier killed in Afghanistan »Play Video
Photos courtesy of Pfc. Keller's family.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Hundreds of people remembered an Oregon soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last week.

Andrew Keller was a graduate of Beaverton's Southridge High School. Saturday, family and friends packed a southwest Portland church to pay their respects.

Jeff Keller, Andrew’s father, said his son was killed while setting up a remote outpost on a mountain that was going to be an observation point. As a firefight began at the foot of the mountain, Jeff Keller said his son, as a team leader, took a group of five soldiers down toward the gunfire. Some 15 Taliban fighters were killed before Andrew Keller died.

His cousin, Specialist Jason Dudley, accompanied Keller’s body from Dover Air Force base all the way home to Oregon.

“I’d like to say a special thank you to Specialist Jason Dudley for not only being Andrew’s cousin, but his brother. The things that’s he’s done over the last week and a half to honor Andrew and to love Andrew,” said Jeff Keller.

Keller’s fiancé, Marissa Jones, found the strength to talk about what he meant to her.

“Andrew and I had a love that’s enough to last for an entire life,” she said. “Every single day I would fall more in love with him. Every time I saw him or even look at a picture I would get the biggest butterflies. He brings a sense of calmness to me that no one else can.”

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders lined the driveway leading up to the church.

Andrew Keller was 22 years old.