U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 557-11
June 28, 2011
DOD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
They died June 25, 2011 at Kunar province, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their units with small arms fire.
First Lieutenant Dimitri A. Del Castillo, 24, of Tampa, Florida. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and
Staff Sergeant Nigel D. Kelly, 26, Menifee, Calif. He was assigned to 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
CORRECTION: June 30, 2011 — Staff Sgt. Kelly’s unit is corrected from 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team.
Army Staff Sergeant Nigel D. Kelly, age 26, from Menifee, California, was killed in action on 25th June 2011 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, during a battle with enemy forces who attacked his unit with small arms fire.
Sergeant Kelly served with the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
SSgt. Kelly had previously completed two tours of duty in Iraq. He holds two Bronze Stars among other awards. He joined the Army in 2003 as a combat engineer.
A highly decorated U.S. Army Staff Sergeant from Menifee has been killed in fighting in Afghanistan's violent and rugged Kunar province.
Staff Sergeant Nigel D. Kelly, 26, died Saturday after being shot during a battle with anti-government Taliban forces, the Pentagon said Tuesday morning.
An Army spokesman, Major David Bolender, said Kelly and a fellow troop were killed during clearing operations. He had no additional details.
No one answered a telephone call to a Menifee residence where Kelly's family lives. Neighbors said they saw Army officials at the house Monday morning informing the residents of Kelly's death.
“The military showed up and then all the family started coming over,” said neighbor Chris Ellis. “It's a sad affair.”
Kelly was assigned to 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
His deployment history included two combat tours in Iraq and one to Afghanistan.
He joined the Army in August 2003 as a combat engineer and was the recipient of numerous awards, including two Bronze Stars, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Valorous Unit Award and many other citations.
Kelly played basketball at Temescal Canyon High School. A couple of months before he enlisted, he played in a 2003 High School All-Star Classic in which he scored 13 points.
He was named to The Californian's All-Valley Boys Basketball Team for the 2002-03 season.
Mark Williams coached Kelly and recalled him as a serious-minded, hardworking player and student.
“He was very well-liked,” said Williams, now the school's athletic director. “It's very sad and makes you reflect on what an outstanding young man he was.
“We'll miss him and wish the best for his family, which must be very proud of him.”
KELLY, NIGEL D
- SSG US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 02/06/1985
- DATE OF DEATH: 06/25/2011
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 9722
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard