Story: Former Marine Officer Is a Good Neighbor

Travis and his family from November 2019

MARSHALL, TEXAS: Travis Keeney, age 37, graduated from the US. Naval Academy in 2004, and was commissioned as a U.S. Marine Officer. After completing flight school, he spent eight years flying as a Marine Aviator before settling down to live and work in Marshall.

Travis is a financial advisor with his own Edward Jones Investments office, and married to Jillian, and the father of Cooper, age 3 and Lane, age 2.

When he was asked to define what it means to be a ‘good neighbor,’ Travis said, “Being a good and caring neighbor is so very important. The current events are proving how important it really is.”

He continued, “Caring for the elderly, handicapped, businesses, workers who may have lost their jobs in the oil field, restaurants, retail and many others is especially important in a small rural community. We don’t always know what someone may be going through, but we can always choose to be kind and helpful and use our individual talents and skills for the betterment of our neighbors and friends.”

Travis continued, “One thing about living in Harrison County that is special, other than some the best people in the world, is it’s rich history and diversity. Look at it – from its early founding in 1841, first telegraph lines connecting Texas to New Orleans, one of the first rail lines in Texas, it’s strategic location, beautiful Caddo Lake, historic colleges and universities, architecture, and agriculture, and the list goes on and on.”

“Harrison County also has one of the highest percentages per capita of military service members hailing from the county.”

Travis is the coordinator of the annual 5K and fun run called “The Marshall Heroes Run.” It is an event that matters to him for personal reasons.

“I had a friend who graduated from the Naval Academy with me, who was killed in Iraq in 2007 while serving with a Marine advisory team when he was shot and killed by an enemy sniper,” he explained.

He continued, “His name is Travis Manion and the Travis Manion Foundation was formed by his family in his honor as a way to give back. I host the 5k and fun run here every year around September 11.”

“It’s such a special cause, and this community really comes through with absolutely incredible support. It’s a fun event, but also very important in its remembrance of September 11, our veterans, and first responders and brings our community together,” Travis said.

He added, “The shirts we make every year aren’t too bad either! Currently the foundation puts on a Character Does Matter program and Character isn’t canceled series on social media. So look up the Travis Manion Foundation, and let your kids and loved ones watch some good content while they are stuck at home.”

When asked what kept him going in life through tough times, Travis paused. “One of the toughest events in my life, much tougher than some very close calls in military aviation, was the loss of my younger brother in an accident. We were very close, and it was a hard thing to go through as a young man. My parents taught me forgiveness and faithfulness and it’s what brought me through.”

He stated, “When times are tough, no matter what you are going through, leaning on God, and rooting yourself in your faith can overcome anything. Hold tight, and this too shall pass.”

Travis said, “ My favorite scripture verse is John 15:13 – ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’”

“But another great verse I find particularly important during these times is James 1:2-4. ‘Consider it pure , my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance…”

Travis finished, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Sound advice.

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Travis and one of his sons from March 2020.