Scholarship in name of fallen soldier gets hand from United Way

R012908_Keller_C.jpgThe family of a fallen soldier from Wading River, as it continues to offer scholarships in the name of Army Sgt. Jonathan Keller, has partnered with United Way of Long Island.

Sgt. Keller died nine months after suffering numerous gunshot wounds to his arm during a firefight while on patrol near the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The 1998 Shoreham-Wading River graduate got an infection at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, dying on Jan. 24, 2009.

His cousin, Geoff Keller, set up a scholarship in his name that same year. Since then, the fund has raised more than $10,000 which has gone to graduating seniors at SWR.

The partnership with United Way makes donations to the scholarships tax-deductible.

“We are extremely grateful to United Way of Long Island, and to family and friends who have generously donated to ensure local students, like Jonathan, can follow their dreams,” said Marty Keller, Jonathan’s father and a resident of Wading River.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Sergeant Jonathan M. Keller Memorial Fund at using the online donation form. Donors should indicate that the donation should be directed toward the Sergeant Jonathan M. Keller Memorial Fund.

Sgt. Keller is one of two Wading River soldiers to as a result of wounds suffered in Afghanistan. Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Venetz was killed during a non-combat incident just over two years later.