— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) December 8, 2016
Wednesday I wrote about how Trump’s choice for Homeland Security chief, 4-star Marine Corps General John Kelly is the perfect person for the job. As it turns out, I underestimated the man. From today’s Boston Herald:
Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly … is a Boston native, Iraq combat commander and Gold Star father who volunteered to meet with Hub cops, firefighters and medics in the aftermath of the 2013 marathon blasts and offer his counsel.
“He wanted to talk to them about what they experienced and give them his thoughts and his insight as a Marine in combat, having to deal with the horrificness of what happened at the marathon bombing,” said Tommy Lyons, a fellow Marine from Boston who’s known Kelly for about 15 years. “He reached out — it wasn’t people reaching out to him — because he cared about the men and women who are in public safety. That’s the kind of guy he is.”
So months after the Boylston Street attacks, Kelly, who grew up in Brighton and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston, spoke at a Dorchester union hall, urging the firefighters, EMTs and police officers who had endured the chaos not to suffer alone.
“The biggest message he said was, ‘Don’t be afraid to get help, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about what you just went through,’ as many veterans have done, having gone through a traumatic event or combat,” Lyons said. “His actions speak to how he cares for people who are in a position where they’re putting themselves in danger every day.”
Sweet mother of God, is that impressive. Isn’t this exactly the caliber of person we want protecting us from a world of fanatics hellbent on destroying everything we hold dear? A genuine Masshole from his birth to his education, who’s climbed to the highest ranks of the greatest fighting force in the world but still has the common touch. A man who understands that in this particular war, the “boots on the ground” are often the first responders. Those working people we all saw at the Marathon running toward the danger, saving the lives of complete strangers. And who have to deal with the effects of wading through all that blood and viscera to try and save shattered body parts just because it’s their duty.
You’re damned right this is the man for a very tough job. Whether it’s leading someone I love into battle against medieval psychopaths who cut their captives’ heads off on the Internet or stopping slimy little cocksuckers who lay pressure cooker bombs at the feet of children, I want someone in charge who will stop at nothing to keep us safe, but who understands how hard it is on the people at the front.
As George Orwell said, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Gen. John Kelly, Brighton-raised and UMass-Boston educated, is just such a man. Oo-rah, Devil Dog.