Andrew Keller was a hard working young man who developed leadership skills while playing sports in our community, specifically football at Southridge High School. His love for athletics, teamwork, leadership and people is apparent, but there is more to the story.

After Andrew completed his final home game, the year he was voted Most Valuable Player, he sat on the Southridge field alone, knowing his time representing his school was complete. During those 20 minutes or so, I’m sure he reflected on his past, the love of football he shared with his teammates, the role he played in school spirit. Andrew was a quiet, and by all accounts, humble young man who led by example. He was admired by fellow students, friends, neighbors and teachers.

Andrew planned to come back to Beaverton after his deployment, marry his high school sweetheart, have children and build a life as an involved parent and contributor to the community. The Keller family is that way — dedicated and active in this community, willing to share themselves, their time and their resources.

We have the opportunity to turn a high school field into a Field of Honor, a place that represents inspiration, motivation and teamwork. There is no one more appropriate to represent these words than Andrew Keller, a forever young and honorable Southridge graduate who gave his life while protecting his fellow man.

The death of any young person is devastating. I lost my son, Graeme, when he was 12 years old. I would never expect a field or building to be named after him. His loss is deep and personal. Andrew, on the other hand, died while serving our country. Andrew was an outstanding Southridge graduate who should be honored appropriately and permanently. The Andrew Keller Memorial Filed would honor both Andrew and our community.

Blair Jones is a Beaverton resident and the father of Marissa Jones, a 2008 Southridge High School graduate and Pfc. Andrew Keller’s fiance.

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