Young Logan Kettle sees his late father as the most influential person in his life. Unfortunately, the 11-year-old boy was only 15 months while his father Jeffrey Kettle was killed in combat in Afghanistan. Logan did not know much about his father but his uncle Clay Kettle has helped him learn every little detail about his hero. Uncle Clay has taught him well just like his father would since loyalty and honor are some of the young man’s qualities.
Jeff began his journey of becoming a soldier in 1993 right after completing airborne school. He became an Army Ranger and then a Green Beret by the time he was leaving for Afghanistan. Jeff had earned several medals during his service including a Bronze Star after discovering a large reserve of weapons in Afghanistan. He had also received a Purple Heart. His brother Clay also served in the army as a combat medic, but he is now medically retired after sustaining a roadside bomb.
Jeff and Clay left for Afghanistan and Iraq respectively in the same year (2007). However, that was the last time they would see each other since Clay received a call later while in the field, which confirmed his brother’s death. He had died together with three other soldiers after the car they were driving hit a roadside bomb. In his message, Clay said that Jeff was an untouchable Rambo person and the loss of his brother was not easy for him. The fallen hero was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery with his family and friends present to say their final goodbye.
Logan Kettle had always wanted to wear his father’s uniform jacket, which had gone missing after his death and uncle Clay has been trying to find this jacket so that he can fulfill his nephews wish. One day, Clay recalled that he always found joy in wearing his dad’s Air Force jacket.
Therefore, he had to do his best to give Logan a tangible memory of his father.
He embarked on a project of recreating the jacket piece by piece until it resembled that of his brother. Making a replica was not easy for him since he could not find some pieces like a Parachutist Badge awarded proficiency in parachute jumping. However, an old classmate helped him find one on eBay.
When the jacket was complete, Clay presented it to his nephew at their home in College Station.
In a statement, Logan said the jacket looked exactly like the one he wasn’t able to see in person. It had everything attached including a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. When Logan wore the jacket, no one could hold back the tears including Logan’s mother who went on to say that the two would have been good friends. All the praises directed to Jeff gave Logan further confirmation of his dad being a real hero.
Jeffrey Kettle is one of the 2000 soldiers who have died in Afghanistan while protecting their country. His wife and two children Donovan and Logan survived him. Clay says his brother died doing what he loved most. He has also done his best to honor his brother and remind his nephews of their dad.
This touching military jacket story highlights what befalls the family and children after a parent has fallen. Most people may sympathize with the family but the loss lives on within the family.
Logan is one of the kids without a father in his class, but dad’s legacy and honor have always been his source of inspiration even after ten years after. I am sure his uncle’s gift will forever remain the most valuable possession that anyone has given him.