Family, friends remember Iraq veteran lost in motorcycle acciden - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Family, friends remember Iraq veteran lost in motorcycle accident

Willie Lee Kelso was 33 Willie Lee Kelso was 33
Willie Kelso and his brothers (Photos provided by family) Willie Kelso and his brothers (Photos provided by family)

Hours after EMS discovered the body of 33-year-old Willie Lee Kelso off I-27 on Friday morning, family and friends are remembering the man they loved.

"He was an awesome dude, he would do anything for anybody," said Chelsey Dillashaw, a lifelong family friend.

"He was a dad, he loved his little girl. He had two or three tours in Iraq in the Army. He would give you the shirt off of his back if he thought that's what you needed," she said. "He was very passionate about his daughter, he was very passionate about his work. He owned his own business, he did remodeling and things of that nature. He was very passionate about his friends and family."

Chelsey was shocked when she realized she had driven by the scene of Willie's accident on the way to work.

"My reaction actually was holy cow, I drove by that on my way over here to work this morning. It was actually very shocking...whenever I finally found out that's what it was," she said.

Willie was one of four brothers. Derick Kelso was in Southern California when he heard the news.

"He was somebody that you could always depend on, any time you needed something - no matter if you were in financial trouble, or somebody needed to talk or even if you just wanted a friend, he was someone who would give you the shirt off his back just to make sure you were okay," he said.

"We would always go out to White River Lake when we were younger. My dad would take us all out there; it would be us four brothers and my dad. We'd go out there and we would boat and we would usually go tubing out on the lake. We would always come up with little competitions and try and one up each other to see who could stay on the longest or see who could ride on the bigger waves. Just going fishing, the lake was pretty much our thing."

Derick says his brother loved his motorcycle, and that riding it offered him an escape from life's troubles.

"He ended up joining the Army when he was 18 and was in the Army for about eight years - went over to fight in the war and I think he did two or three tours if I'm not mistaken," he said. "He had PTSD, so the motorcycle and riding on it just kind of opened up his mind and let it just relax and get away from a lot of things."

Derick says as the holiday season approaches he can't think of the joy, the only emotion he feels is sadness that he will never be able to see his hero again.

"He's my oldest brother so I've always looked up to him ever since I was super young. I used to get my hair cut like him, wear clothes like him, wear the same deodorant, everything," he said. "I can't really describe it, it's just going to be pain. I can't even think of being joyful right now, all I can think of is just how painful it's going to be."

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