American Hero Honored In South Omaha
43 years after his death, an American Marine is honored.Photo: Video by kmtv.com
CREATED Jul. 27, 2013
Omaha, NE - 43 years ago, a soldier, born in north Omaha, died while serving in Vietnam. Saturday, the community gathered to remember the local hero.
At Miguel Hernandez Keith Park near 30th and Y Street in south Omaha, a memorial is dedicated to the U.S. marine.
In May of 1970, at age 18, Lance Corporal Miguel Keith gave his life to protect his platoon in Vietnam. Childhood friend, John Easley remembers his best friend as a guy who would protect anyone, and that's how he died. "That takes one heck of a man to withstand what he went through to save those guys in that company," says Easley.
One year after joining the Marines, Keith found himself charging more than 30 enemy soldiers to protect his own. Enemy fire killed him.
Easley was there the day Marines delivered bad news to Keith's mother. "I remember everything like it was yesterday, I turned the corner and saw the green suburban, a marine van, and I knew right away it wasn't good."
Among six medals and decorations, Keith received the Medal of Honor and Purple heart. Now, Keith has a memorial near the Kroc center in south Omaha as well.
"This is obviously an under-served portion of the community and with all the revitalization that is happening here, it's a beacon of hope for the community," says Madeline Moyers with the Kroc center.
Moyers hopes children attending the center will respect the memorial and learn to make good choices. Keith's family hopes this as well. His mother, Deloras didn't want him serving in Vietnam, but she knows Keith saved dozens of lives the day he died. "He said please let me finish the job because I'm going to make you proud," she says with tears in her eyes, "and he did."