- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

CORONADO, Calif. (AP) - More than a thousand people gathered in the military town of Coronado on Thursday to mourn Charles Keating IV, a U.S. Navy SEAL who was shot and killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq this month.

The 31-year-old special warfare operator was posthumously awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest combat medal, for his heroic actions during a battle in March against Islamic State fighters in Iraq, said Lt. Beth Teach, a spokeswoman for the SEALs.

He also received a Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon for what he did the day he was killed in a gunbattle against ISIS on May 3.

Keating is the third service member to die in Iraq since U.S. forces returned there in 2014.

Keating’s father, Charles Keating III, told mourners his son understood and relished his mission to fight against terrorism, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1qht6fd).

“He gave his life to protect his brothers,” said Keating’s younger brother, Billy, also an enlisted SEAL.

“On May 3, I lost my brother. Through the teams, I have a couple thousand more. We will seek vengeance,” he said.

Keating will be buried after a private funeral Friday in Coronado, where his SEAL Team 1 is based. A procession will wind through the city as his remains are transported across the Coronado Bridge to San Diego to be buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

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