Abilene widow to honor her late Marine husband, give back to others

'It's what he would have wanted'

ABILENE, Texas - This Saturday will mark one year since Abilene Marine recruiter GySgt Keith Keller died from injuries he received after a car accident on I-20 in front of Lowe's in Abilene.

A special 5K Run/Walk and workout will be held in his honor Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at Red Bud Park.

Keller served in the Marine Corps for 17 years and was a Marine recruiter at the time of his death.

The event will remember Keller's life, but also benefit two foundations – The Travis Manion Foundation and Snowball Express – that offer support to families of military members who died while serving their country.

Keller's wife, Nicole, said this is something she believes her husband would have wanted her to do.

A former Marine herself, Nicole now wants to give back to others in her shoes.

"A lot of these women get married when they're 18 and they move around with their husbands their whole life and they have three, four kids," she said. "I want to be able to support them and give them some of my strength to get them through this time."

"It's important to me because of the way my husband lived his life," she said. "Always trying to get families together and I want to be able to do that in his honor."

Nicole hopes Saturday's run will help anyone who has lost a loved one, but that it'll also help her children remember their daddy.

"My son already is just a mini Keith," she said. "The way he talks, the things that interest him. He's my husband in a two-and-a-half year old. And I hope by doing these things that him and his sister Ariana remember the kind of person that their father was, even if they don't actually remember him, we're keeping him alive with his memory."

The memorial 5K is Saturday, Jan. 17 at Red Bud Park.

It will kick off at 8 a.m. with a balloon lift off and prayer.

The 5K Walk/Run will start at 10 a.m.

There's plenty of time to register for the event. To register, be a sponsor or volunteer, click here.

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