Navy Seal Killed In ISIS Battle Was Grandson Of Infamous Banker Charles Keating Jr.

imagesThe U.S. Navy SEAL killed in combat has been identified and the name will strike a cord with those of us who recall the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. He is Charlie Keating IV and, yes, his grandfather is indeed that Charles Keating. It turns out that the grandson is everything that the grandfather failed to become: a man of loyalty, principle, and unbridled courage. It is hard to imagine the loss of such a remarkable young man. The family gave this nation a true hero who gave his life fighting side by side with his fellow seals against Islamic extremists.

Keating IV, 31, was advising and assisting Kurdish Peshmerga forces north of Mosul when ISIS launched an unexpected attack with a large force, including waves of suicide trucks. The Peshmerga were overrun and the seals rushed forward to protect their retreat. One of their vehicles was reportedly hit, injuring Keating. The forces later regrouped and retook the Christian town. Three Peshmerga soldiers were also killed. Air strikes and the counterattack reportedly killed scores of ISIS fighters.

Keating has a fiancée back in Coronado, California.

keatingKeating IV’s grandfather, Charles Keating Jr., became the infamous face of the Savings and Loan scandal after his real estate company and its subsidiary, Lincoln Savings & Loan Association failed and ultimately cost the taxpayers $3.14 billion (and left 23,000 customers with worthless bonds). He drew even more infamy with his claims that the San Francisco regulators were likely “homos” who were “out to get him” for his strong moral views, including his long opposition to pornography.

The lending practices of the business led to the investigation of the “Keating Five” — five senators who were accused of intervening to help Keating maintain his fraudulent practices. The senators were Alan Cranston (Democrat of California), Dennis DeConcini (Democrat of Arizona), John Glenn (Democrat of Ohio), John McCain (Republican of Arizona), and Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (Democrat of Michigan).

Keating Jr. was eventually indicted on fraud and racketeering charges and served almost five years in prison. He died in 2014 at age 90.

Charlie Keating IV took a different path. He attended the Naval Academy before becoming a Navy SEAL. He was everything one expects from a Seal: brave, smart, selfless, and patriotic. The Keating family has had to deal with very difficult times but I cannot imagine coping with such a loss. Yet, the family can take solace in the fact that Charlie died rushing into combat to allow allied soldiers to retreat to safety. He died with his fellow Seals by his side. He died facing an enemy that threatens the very foundations of civilization and civil liberties. Though far too short, it was a life well lived.

33 thoughts on “Navy Seal Killed In ISIS Battle Was Grandson Of Infamous Banker Charles Keating Jr.”

  1. Everyone is needlessly jumping all over JT’s mere mention of this individual’s familial ties. They are what they are and don’t serve to, in any way, diminish his service and sacrifice for this country. Simply referencing his connection to his infamously crooked grandfather is not demeaning and/or belittling him. He is his grandson, for better or for worse. That’s a fact. Luke it or not. Actually, his life, spent and lost in selfless devotion to others, serves as a stark contrast to the self-absorbed and criminal life led by his grandfather. Noting the relationship doesn’t dishonor his memory.

    I just read in the newspaper about Obama’s oldest daughter’s decision to attend Harvard. Why is that newsworthy, other than because of her familial ties to her father? It’s newsworthy just because of that connection. I am also quite sure that her application, to Harvard, was also received with a full and complete knowledge of that familial lineage. The same applies to the reports that we regularly read about the descendants of Joe Kennedy. Every time one of his grandchildren or great grandchildren does anything–whether it be positive or negative–we read about it. Why? Because of the family name. Nothing more. Nothing less. They may be, individually, responsible for those accomplishments or failures, but news reports never fail to mention the family ties.

  2. Obama may think we have no boots on the ground, but we do. These SEALS jumped in to help the people they were training. That’s how Americans behave. Saving lives, not caring about where their boots are. We always think of the families when the one of our military dies. But his fiancé is suffering an agony. My heart goes out to her. The American people are proud of his reaction to stay and fight with the Kurds. That’s who we are, Obama!

  3. I didn’t find it particularly offense or distasteful to know that this hero had a grandfather of dubious character. I’d wondered (briefly) about the name, but didn’t think more of it until reading this blog entry.

    For me, it doesn’t change my perspective of Keating IV. He was, and remains in my eyes, a hero. A good and noble man. It’s merely an interesting artifact that his grandfather wasn’t. I’m also sure he grew up well aware of his grandfather’s actions.

  4. “everything one expects from a Seal: brave, smart, selfless, and patriotic.”

    Really? That perception is not universal.

  5. “The Peshmerga were overrun and the seals rushed forward to protect their retreat.” That is the true courage and valor of our military. I honor their courage and sacrifice, as well as that of their families who miss them and worry about them at home while they serve.

    God bless Charles Keating IV, whose relative’s crimes are irrelevant. When a family has been destroyed because their beloved son has been killed, the media should not mention any decades old family scandal. This hero would not have want his death to be a reason to reopen old family wounds.

    I do not believe any disrespect to our Navy Seal was intended in this article. But the etiquette when anyone dies in the line of duty is to write only glowing praise. Because these articles will be saved by the family in their heartbreak. Such stories should attempt to comfort the family by showing the world cared about their loss, and valued their loved one. Instead of outliving their child as every parent wants, and having a lifetime of memories, they will have these clippings.

    RIP, Charles Keating IV. Those who serve and those who are lost will have my eternal gratitude for standing between me and mine and the extremists who would burn the world down if they could. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  6. JT thinks that by listing the fact that most of the Keating 5 were Dems, that it is OK. It’s not. And let’s be honest, the only Senator most remember affiliated w/ this is McCain, a naval hero himself.

  7. USN420, JT has that liberal curse. He has to bring up crap like this and not just honor the kid. It taints the nice words he expressed. I don’t think he sees that. I think JT does have deep respect for this kid. But that liberal gene is dominant.

  8. My bride and I went to a Padres game yesterday. It was Senior Day and tix were discounted for old farts. They got shutout, AGAIN, 2-0. The Padres have a great ballpark and a bad team. The city of San Diego TRULY respects the military. Most everyone has family, friends, neighbors, in the military. Every Sunday the Padres have discounted tix for military families and the Padres where camouflage uniforms. At every game the Padres take a moment and ask all current and former military to stand and be honored. The number of men and women is significant, usually at least 1/3 of those in attendance. They ALWAYS get a heartfelt ovation and I am always moved. I said a prayer for this kid’s family.

  9. Minor disconnect in your piece; you say that he attended the Naval Academy, but he is wearing the uniform of an enlisted man, and is shown in other pictures as a Petty Officer First Class. Did he not graduate from the USNA or was that statement an error?

  10. Professor Turley,

    The sins of the father, or in this case… the grandfather, are not the sins of the son. I find the original reporting by AP and subsequently by your blog entry to be distasteful at best. As a 20-year Navy veteran, I have first hand knowledge of the dedication and commitment required to become and operate as a Navy SEAL.

    Charlie Keating IV was a patriot and a selfless warrior who gave his life working save others and to neutralize a threat to the United States and to western civilization.

    To bring up something his grandfather did over 35 years ago, and before Charles Keating IV was even born, is extremely disrespectful of this man’s service and sacrifice.

  11. Why did blood line come into play? He is not bound by this nor is anyone else.

  12. Another incredible person lost. Though he is arbitrarily affiliated with his grandfather, which makes for a quirk of a story, the best way to honor his service is not to mention that affiliation at all. Which is difficult, of course.

    And invoking scriptural nonsense enlightens nothing. Those that killed this soldier I’m sure were equally screaming praise and thanks to that very same imaginary figurehead.

  13. Tragic. Defending against evil, that is a most noble cause. From his picture he seems to be a great guy. Anyone that achieves as much as he did is in itself is commendable, yet having to face war is honorific. We should extend our sympathies toward his friends and family.

  14. Damn it Jonathan,
    The Seal died under circumstances which required extreme bravery. He was part of a response team which went to engage a heinous enemy. He was a young man who endured and succeeded in one of the most demanding comat skill levels we have.

    Oh yeah, he happened to be a grandson of a criminal….that’s about all you needed to say. You took an act of courage and threw mud all over it. Whatever ax you have to grind with grandpa didn’t need all those column inches in the blog….nor did the banner headline have to read the way it did.

    Bam bam et al…give the faith thing a rest. The man died in service to us. Both you folks need to take the log out. And remember…the New Testament is about the New Covenant established by one in the order of Melchizedek….not a Levite.

    Luv and kisses,
    Riverine combat vet
    Great granddaddy was a bootlegger and distributer, a criminal but not excon.
    A great uncle shot up by Bugsy

  15. Ditto on the sympathies…maybe if we actually were involved it would not have been a surprise attack. But oblunder is just kicking the can. Buying time until his change of command.
    As to the grand father i read today he actually got set free on appeal… For lack of mens rea. So he only did jail for his pleas (not convictions) and 99 percent with the book tossed at them plea guilty even when not. Cuz five thousand years in jail is a long time and your lawyer could be an idiot. Mccain maybe the crook….wasn’t he running at bailout time? By then he had mens rea. Old man keating a useful tool. Young man keating another useful tool. So sad. He obviosly loved his country…but why really was he over there? If we wanted to evaporate isis we could. What a shame.

  16. My sympathies to the family of this young man. His grandfather’s sins are not his. Quiet frankly the lengthy discussion of them was offensive. A brief mention would have been more than enough.

    God or at least any God worthy of that title had nothing to do with this young man’s death. He is dead becaus the fundamentalist Muslims in the Middle East are out of control and for some reason our leaders, Obama in particular cannot understand that it is the job of the Muslims in the Middle East to fight their own. While their young men high tail it out of there to Europe, our president continues to send our young men and women there to protect the Saudis and others from the Frankenstein they created. We need to get out! Stop the flow of money and weapons and let the Saudis and others resolve this and don’t let them, their leaders, travel until they do! Boycott them. Put the problem squarely in their over pampered laps!

    It is sad to see a young life ended. Again, my sympathies to the family for this very tragic loss.

  17. There’s a price to pay for everything in life. Sometimes, we pay the price, ourselves; sometimes, the price is paid by others. I merely supplied a section of Exodus which deals with retribution and generational curses–the infamous concept of the sins of the fathers. Believe what you will.

  18. bam bam presents a pretty good argument against faith in such a God that would deliberately kill this young man because of the sins of the grandfather.

  19. A brave and courageous young man–gone far too soon. As one who often searches for meaning and significance with regard to various occurrences–such as this untimely, tragic and premature death of a dedicated and honorable individual–the Old Testament comes to mind. Exodus 20:5 discusses the existence of generational curses, where retribution can and will be visited upon the descendants of those who have sinned against God. The specific sin, mentioned in that particular section of Exodus, happens to pertain to idolatry and the consequences which follow. His grandfather, no doubt, placed money and greed, above all else–even before God. The definition of idolatry. The grandfather may have lived to the ripe old age of 90–seemingly untouched by his criminal acts. Unfortunately, as unfair as it seems, the grandson may have been called to pay for grandpa’s inescapable misdeeds.

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