Fallen Soldier: Paul M. Kelly

Paul M. Kelly
Dates: Died January 20, 2007
Hometown: Stafford, VA
Branch of Service: Army National Guard
Rank: Colonel
Player: Stephen Campbell Jr.

Colonel Paul M. Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Va., was assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Virginia Army National Guard in Blackstone, Va., and served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On January 20, 2007, Col. Kelly was killed when his UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter crashed in Baghdad, Iraq.

A graduate of Carroll High School, Col. Kelly attended the University of Dayton and was commissioned in 1982 as an officer in their ROTC program. He spent his career in staff and leadership positions with the National Guard, serving in Ohio, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Col. Kelly was nicknamed "the Senator" because he was always shaking soldiers' hands, no matter their rank, colleagues said. When getting into disciplinary trouble, Col. Kelly would ask to take a hard look at the way they were acting. It was the sort of command that officers gave, often going ignored. But something about the way Kelly said it, firmly but with respect, would get through.

Col. Kelly was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star medal and the Legion of Merit medal.

Col. Kelly’s son is a Folds of Honor Scholarship recipient.