Sgt. Kelley Lance Courtney, born August 13, 1976, in Macon, Georgia, to proud parents, Robert and Eugenia Courtney, was a United States Marine Corps counter-intelligence specialist, killed in action in the Al Anbar province, Iraq on October 30, 2004. Kelley, a Christian, was baptized at Mabel White Baptist Memorial Church. He was a lifelong resident of Barfield Road in Macon, Georgia where much of his family still resides. He attended John H. Heard Elementary School, Central Georgia Technical School of Macon and Barstow Community College in Barstow California.
Upon completion of USMC counter-intelligence training in Dam Neck, Virginia in December of 2003, Kelley was assigned to the Third Intelligence Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan. August of 2004, Kelley was augmented from 3rd Intelligence Battalion to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit where he served as a counterintelligence and human intelligence specialist in Iraq.
On Good Friday, April 14, 2006, at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Kelley was posthumously honored with the official naming of the new USMC counter-intelligence building. Forever known as Courtney Hall, this new addition will house offices and training facilities utilized by USMC Counter-Intelligence Division in Okinawa, Japan.
April 18, 2006, Kelley was posthumously awarded the unprecedented Hawaiian Medal of Honor in Honolulu, Hawaii, along with many other fallen heroes. Kelley had volunteered to aid the Marine Unit from Hawaii on a mission near Fallujah, Iraq in October of 2004. After the completion of their mission, on Saturday, October 30, 2004, while traveling on the dangerous road back to the safety of Camp Victory, Kelley’s convoy truck was struck by a suicide bomber, resulting in his death and the deaths of seven other Hawaii-based Marines.
“Sgt. Kelley Lance Courtney Day” was officially observed on June 20, 2006 by the Macon City Council and Mayor of Macon, Georgia. On September 30, 2007, the “Kelley Lance Courtney Interchange” was dedicated at the I-475/I-75 connector in Bibb County. Kelley is the recipient of the Purple Heart and Combat Active Ribbon (posthumously), the Navy and Marine Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and Letters of Appreciation and Certificates of Appreciation.
Kelley is survived by his wife, Cindy, and their two children, Kellie Marie Courtney (then 4) and Robert Logan Courtney (then 1), all of whom are current residents of southern Bibb County, Macon, Georgia.
Gena Courtney, Mother of Marine Sgt Kelley Courtney