Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Director of Homeland Security : Gen John Kelly's ''Last 6 Seconds'' Speech

This is powerful story and a window into the man who will protect our country from those that want to do us harm.  A must read in that you have to understand that for the last 8 years our nations as been put a risk of attack.

The past 8 years saw directors that understood it was necessary to do the bidding of a president that willingly and knowingly believed it was his duty to bring closure to his religious  jihad for vengeance and reconstruction of the American way of life.  He also believed America was responsible for world wide strife and pestilence. America had a price to pay.

The new Director of Homeland Security will bring new energy to the job and as well as dedication and honor to the nation that we so desperately need.

Lt. Gen. John Kelly, USMC "The Last Six  seconds" - Director of the Department of Homeland Security                                                                
If you'd like to know more  about Trump's pick for Homeland Security, USMC Gen. John Kelly,  please read the speech that he gave just 4 days after he lost his  son in combat. One can hardly conceive of the enormous grief held  quietly within General Kelly as he  spoke.    "The Last Six  Seconds"

On Nov 13, 2010, Lt General  John Kelly, USMC, gave a speech to the Semper Fi Society of St.  Louis, MO. This was four days after his son, Lt Robert Kelly,  USMC, was killed by an IED while on his 3rd Combat tour. During  his speech, General Kelly spoke about the dedication and valor of  our young men and women who step forward each and every day to  protect us.   
   During the speech, he never  mentioned the loss of his own son. He closed the speech with the  moving account of the last six seconds in the lives of two young  Marines who died with rifles blazing to protect their brother  Marines.   
   "I will leave you with a  story about the kind of people they are, about the quality of the  steel in their backs, about the kind of dedication they bring to  our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as  veterans. Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and  Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22 ND of April 2008, two Marine  infantry battalions, 1/9 "The Walking Dead," and 2/8 were  switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of  their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its  seven-month combat tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and  Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively,  one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the  entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks  housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was  also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the  fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the  most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda. Yale was a  dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter,  and a mother and sister who lived with him and whom he supported  as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than  $23,000.  
   Haerter, on the other hand,  was a middle class white kid from Long Island. They were from two  completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they  would never have met each other, or understood that multiple  America's exist simultaneously depending on one's race, education  level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But  they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of  Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as  close, or closer, than if they were born of the same  woman.   The mission orders they received from the  sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like, "Okay you two  clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or  vehicles  pass?"   I  am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in  unison something like, "Yes Sergeant," with just enough attitude  that made the point without saying the words, "No kidding, we know  what we're doing." They then relieved two other Marines on watch  and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint  Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, Al  Anbar, Iraq.   
   A few minutes later a large  blue truck turned down the alley way - perhaps 60-70 yards in  length, and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey  walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted  and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four  brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards  away collapsed. The truck's engine came to rest two hundred yards  away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our  explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of  explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen  didn't have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of  their Iraqi and American  brothers-in-arms.   
   When I read the situation  report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called  the regimental commander for details as something about this  struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded  is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or  MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the  process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed  different. The regimental commander had just returned from the  site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American  witnesses to the event - just Iraqi police. I figured if there was  any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to  decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I'd have to  do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we  figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi  statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the  signature of a general  officer.   
   I traveled to Ramadi the  next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all  of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the  alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the  serpentine. They all said, "We knew immediately what was going on  as soon as the two Marines began firing." The Iraqi police then  related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for  safety just prior to the explosion. All survived.. Many were  injured, some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with  tears welling up said, "They'd run like any normal man would to  save his life." "What he didn't know until then," he said, "And  what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not  normal."  
   Choking past the emotion he  said, "Sir, in the name of God, no sane man would have stood there  and done what they did. No sane man. They saved us  all."   
   What we didn't know at the  time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a  summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy  Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially  in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened  exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six  seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it  detonated.   
   You can watch the last six  seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I  supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately  come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck  came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time  to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do.  Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the  sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before, "Let no  unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass." The two Marines had  about five seconds left to  live.   
   It took maybe another two  seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up.  By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and  gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number  of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering  like the normal and rational men they were - some running right  past the Marines. They had three seconds left to  live.   
   For about two seconds more,  the recording shows the Marines' weapons firing non-stop the  truck's windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds  take it apart and tore in to the body of the ( I deleted) who is  trying to get past them to kill their brothers - American and  Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that  their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines  standing their  ground.   
   If they had been aware, they  would have known they were safe because two Marines stood between  them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck  careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In  all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never  hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped  back. They never even started to step aside. They never even  shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart,  they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work  their weapons. They had only one second left to  live.   
   The truck explodes. The  camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God.. Six seconds. Not  enough time to think about their families, their country, their  flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough  time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity.  That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world  tonight - for you.   
   We Marines believe that God  gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he  lived on this earth - freedom. We also believe he gave us another  gift nearly as precious - our soldiers, sailors, airmen, U S  Customs and Border Patrol, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines - to  safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever  steal it away.   
   It has been my distinct  honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America,  this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will  forever remain the "land of the free and home of the brave" so  long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing  to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and  go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt  down, and kill, those who would do us  harm.   
   God Bless America, and  SEMPER FIDELIS!"    
Semper Fi, God Bless  America and God Bless the United States Marine  Corps.   
   Often Tested, Always  Faithful, Brothers  Forever.

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