At the tender age of 17, Jonas B. Kelsall announced that when he graduated high school he wanted to become a Navy SEAL. His parents had to sign the enlistment papers because he was not yet 18. To ease his mother’s apprehension, he promised that as soon as he finished BUDS he would go to college. His plan to become a SEAL came as a complete surprise to his parents, but he always was a person of his word, and so the papers were signed and Jonas entered the Navy.
He made it through BUDS, and as promised, was off to the University of Texas for the next four years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree along with his Commission and spent the next several years following his dream, eventually leading him to Lt. Commander in the Naval Special Warfare elite Development Group.
Jonas spent 12 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL, loving every single minute. On August 6, 2011 at the age of 32, he was killed in action in Afghanistan in the single worst disaster in the history of the U.S. SEALs.
He lived the kind of life most only dream of. He traveled the world; he met and married the love of his life. His career was not only a source of great joy, but tremendous pride. He never met a person he didn’t consider a friend; he had a sister and parents whose worlds revolved around their love and respect for him. And now The Jonas Project will give birth to an initiative he may never have imagined.
Every time Jonas left for deployment he would tell us “If anything happens to me, know that I love my job. It is the only thing I want to do.” Jonas would constantly encourage others to do what they loved as well, and the Jonas Project will give Veterans that chance.
The Jonas Project (a 501(c)(3) non-profit) is giving back to those Veterans who have served our country with honor. It is for those Veterans, who have an entrepreneurial spirit, and the determination to succeed at their dream, that The Jonas Project was born.