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General John Kelly's Memorial Dedication Speech

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Mammoth Sniper Challenge
December 9, 2016
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Robert Michael Kelly, son of the man who was just selected to be President-Elect Donald Trump’s first Secretary of Homeland Security, was first an enlisted Marine, just like his father.He served two tours in Iraq before commissioning an becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the infantry and deploying to Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines.[caption id="attachment_9265" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]


Source: Eileen Horan[/caption]It was one of the bloodiest spots of the entire Afghanistan war. 3/5 suffered 25 dead and nearly 200 wounded. Many of those hurt during the deployment were amputees, stepping on IED’s and losing one, two, three or even four limbs.Said the General after his son’s death in Afghanistan:

“As I think you all know by now our Robert was killed in action protecting our country, its people, and its values from a terrible and relentless enemy, on 9 Nov, in Sangin, Afghanistan. He was leading his Grunts on a dismounted patrol when he was taken. They are shaken, but will recover quickly and already back at it. He went quickly and thank God he did not suffer. In combat that is as good as it gets, and we are thankful. We are a broken hearted - but proud family. He was a wonderful and precious boy living a meaningful life. He was in exactly the place he wanted to be, doing exactly what he wanted to do, surrounded by the best men on this earth - his Marines and Navy Doc.”

Robert Michael Kelly was a graduate of Flordia State University before he joined the Marine Corps. A military son, he always had a sense of duty and studied military history in school.He married Heather Landry, the cousin of one of his friends from FSU, in 2007, and together they lived in Oceanside, California. He was quick-witted, intelligent and patriotic, and enjoyed his military career.

“I always think I do not want to call you because I will be homesick, but I end up doing it and leave the phone tent with a smile on my face,” he wrote, according to The Washington Post. “I love you so much and appreciate you being a great sport in all of this craziness….One month down and a lot of months to go, but I am doing what I want to do with my life,” he said in his last email to his wife.

According to Heavy and the Washington Post, Kelly thought that Americans were forgetting the war and losing perspective.“Yes, we are at war, and are winning, but you wouldn’t know it because successes go unreported,” he said in an email to friends.


By all accounts, Robert Kelly was a stellar Marine and leader, and he gave his life in a very dangerous place where units took casualties daily. It was an area of operations that many called “hell on earth,” and one where 3/5 suffered the highest casualty rate of any unit in the Afghanistan or Iraq wars. Patrols walked only in the footsteps of the men in front of them, and would find dozens of IED’s each time they went out.“Every day someone was dying,” said Lance Cpl. Josue Barron in 2011, in an interview with NPR.Watch General Kelly's speech at the dedication of Dark Horse's memorial to its Sangin fallen in 2013:

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