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Son Of Lakewood CEO Killed In Taliban Attack On Navy SEALs

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LONG BEACH (CBS) — The son of one of the business leaders in the city of Lakewood was among 30 Navy SEALs who was killed in Afghanistan this weekend, according to a report Monday.

Lt. Cmdr. Jonas Kelsall, 33, is the son of John Kelsall, the president and CEO of The Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.

Kelsall and the other SEALs were killed Saturday when Taliban insurgents attacked their Chinook helicopter while they were on a mission.

The Shreveport, Lousiana native was killed along with his childhood friend and fellow Navy Seal, Chief Petty Officer Robert James Reeves, according to the Shreveport Times newspaper.

The Lakewood connection was first reported by the Long Beach Beachcomber newspaper on its website.

Kelsall and Reeves were both graduates of Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport, where they played soccer together, the paper reported. Both joined the military after graduation.

Jonas Kelsall received most of his training in San Diego and was one of the first members of Seal Team 7, his father told the Shreveport paper.

He attended the University of Texas out of Basic Underwater Demolition training and met his wife, Victoria, there. They had been married three years, according to the Shreveport paper.

John Kelsall has been president and CEO of the Lakewood Chamber since 2005. He is also a co-founder of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, known as BizFed, a group that works to give local companies “a voice” in policy matters.

An associate of John Kelsall told the Beachcomber he was always talking about “my son, the SEAL.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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