Based: Darmstadt, Germany
596th Maintenance Company, 3rd Corps Support Cmd., V Corps
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: April 20, 2004
Qasim (east of), Iraq
Married, 1 child
High School: Azusa High (Azusa)
Foreign Country of Birth: Costa Rica
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Covina Hills
"He was a good son," Leroy Harris Jr. said. "We are proud of him."
Army Pfc. Leroy Harris-Kelly III spent most of his four years at Azusa High School living up to his reputation as the class clown.
With a broad smile and quick wit, the popular athlete and musician easily charmed classmates, teachers and coaches with his antics.
But after he enlisted in the Army shortly after graduating in June 2001, Harris-Kelly's devil-may-care life turned serious as the Iraq war brought him face to face with fear, sacrifice and, ultimately, death.
Harris-Kelly, 20, was in a convoy of military vehicles Tuesday when his truck swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle during a sandstorm, went off the road and rolled over north of Tallil, Iraq, military officials said.
Harris-Kelly was born Sept. 25, 1983, in San Jose, Costa Rica, and moved with his family to Azusa when he was 3. He attended Lee Elementary School, Foothill Middle School and Azusa High School, where he played football and basketball.
"He always felt proud about the Army, but he was happy that he was about to come home," his father said.
Four days after the phone call, an Army captain went to the Harris-Kelly home in Azusa.
"I was hoping that it was just an accident and that he was in the hospital," Leroy Harris Jr. said. "My wife just burst into tears. She knew that something was wrong."
The captain confirmed the parents' worst fears when he told them that their son had been killed in Iraq.