Len Keller Scholarship of Honor
1135 Pleasant Valley Dr.
Oneida, WI 54155
Len is shown here with his granddaughter, Angela during the 2007 Medal of Honor Convention
Photo: Nick DelCalzo
Local Medal of Honor recipient dies at 62
Len Keller killed on Sunday in motorcycle accident
Louis Cooper • firstname.lastname@example.org • October 20, 2009
A Milton resident who was a Medal of Honor recipient died Sunday in a motorcycle crash as he was leaving a veterans club. Leonard "Len" Keller, 62, died at Sacred Heart Hospital after the accident outside the Fleet Reserve Association in Milton. Keller served for two years in Vietnam, then worked for 28 more as a civilian in the supply department at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Capt. Bill Reavey, commanding officer of Pensacola NAS, called Keller's death "a national loss."
"Len was a very humble guy. What he did was just amazing," said Reavey, who spoke at Keller's retirement party in December."If you met him and then you read his citation, you'd never know it was him. What he did was super human. He saved numerous lives that day."
Keller served as an Army sergeant in Vietnam. President Lyndon Johnson presented him with the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony in 1968.The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military honor. It is presented by Congress for risk of life in combat beyond the call of duty.
Keller received the medal in recognition of "conspicuous gallantry" as he and another soldier came under fire from the Viet Cong in a number of enemy bunkers and in nearby trees. "Sgt. Keller quickly moved to a position where he could fire at a bunker from which automatic fire was received, killing one Viet Cong who attempted to escape," according to the citation.
"Leaping to the top of a dike, he and a comrade charged the enemy bunkers, dangerously exposing themselves to the enemy fire," according to the citation. He then charged a second bunker, killing its occupant, and five more bunkers, killing the enemies in them.
"During their furious assault, Sgt. Keller and his comrade had been almost continuously exposed to intense sniper fire as the enemy desperately sought to stop their attack," the citation reads. After his ammunition was exhausted, Keller returned to his platoon to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. "His acts are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army,'' the citation states.
Upon retirement, Keller placed his actions firmly in the midst of those performed by his fellow soldiers. "I'm not any different than any of the other people who were there," he said in an interview. "I just received a medal. A lot of guys out there deserved medals too, they just didn't make it."
Sunday's crash occurred at 3:18 p.m. as Keller was leaving the fleet center on his Harley Davidson three-wheeled motorcycle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Keller made a sharp left and "was traveling too fast for the turn and left the paved surface of the road," the Highway Patrol reported. The motorcycle overturned several times and came to final rest on top of Keller. He was not wearing a helmet