The following speech made a big impression on me. It will make the same kind of impression on every freedom-loving American.
On December 13, Blackfive reported that Lt. General John Kelly, USMC delivered a speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis four days after his son, Lt. Robert Kelly, USMC was killed by an IED on his 3rd Combat tour.
Kelly spoke of the dedication and valor of the young men and women who step forward every day to protect us. He never mentioned the loss of his own son. He closed with the moving account of the last six seconds in the lives of two young Marines who, with rifles blazing, died protecting their brother Marines.
‘On 22nd of April 2008, two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale, 22, and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 20, assumed the watch at the entrance gate of an outpost in Ramadi that contained a makeshift barracks housing fifty Marines and a hundred Iraqi police.
‘Yale was a dirt-poor, mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, a mother, and sister he supported as well as he could on a yearly salary of less than $23,000.
‘Haerter was a middle class white kid from Long Island.
‘Two complete different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple Americas exist simultaneously depending on one's race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, forged in the same fiery crucible of Marine training, and because of this eternal 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 went something like: "Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?"
‘Yale and Haerter probably 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, sweetheart, 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.
‘Minutes later, a suicide truck with 2,000 pounds of explosives charged the entry point. It failed to penetrate, but it exploded, killing them both, and devastating everything within a hundred yards. But, it did not reach the barracks with their brother Marines and Iraqi police.
‘The two Marines deserved recognition, but there were no American witnesses and the General knew Washington bureaucrats would never accept the testimony of Iraqi policemen.’
In Ramadi, Kelly questioned half-dozen Iraqi police. They told the same story.
‘The blue truck turned down toward the entry point. The Iraqis knew what was going on as soon as the two Marines started firing. Some of them fired, but as the truck grew closer, they ran. The two Marines continued blazing away at the oncoming truck. Remembering their orders, they were determined it would not get past them and kill their brother Marines. The Iraqis also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived.
‘One Iraqi admitted, “We ran like any normal man to save his life. What I did not
know until then was that Marines are not normal. No sane man could have done as they. They saved us all."
‘A security camera supported his revelation. It took exactly six seconds from the time the truck entered the alley until it detonated.
‘Perhaps it took a second for the two Marines to come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley.
‘They had no time to talk to anyone, to consult their sergeant, only to act, and only five seconds to live.
‘Another two seconds to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way down the alley, gaining speed. Here is when the Iraqi police scattered.
‘The two Marines had three seconds to live. The recording shows the Marines' weapons firing non-stop. The truck's windshield exploded into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tear into the body of the SOB who was trying to get past them to kill their brothers 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 truck slammed to a halt immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of this 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 exploded. The camera went 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.
The General continued. “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, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines - to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.”
General Kelly concluded by saying, “Rest assured our America, this experiment in a 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!"
After reading his speech, all I can say is “Sleep well tonight, America. Your military is looking over us.”