Must read: USMC General John Kelly Speech….and the meaning of Character

Must read: USMC General John Kelly Speech….and the meaning of Character

“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 son-of-a-bitch 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 know they were safe…because 2 Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber.” — from Marine Lt. Gen. John Kelly’s 2010 eulogy of two American sons who died in combat just four days following the death of his own son in combat.

Here’s the complete transcript of General John Kelly’s speech. Go read it. All of it. You won’t be sorry.


We have all heard it said that you can judge a man’s character by what he does when no one is looking.



No one was watching when Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter stood their ground and followed orders.  They didn’t run, then lie about it later, or make excuses.  They didn’t have time to say a prayer or think of their loved ones.  They did their duty as Marines, fulfilling their oath of duty, and they did it perfectly and without hesitation.



We don’t even ask that Obama and his minions lay down their lives.  We only ask that they honor this country and the Constitution on which it was founded, tell the truth to the people who put them in office, to protect our freedoms, and stop pushing agendas that cripple our economy and liberty.  Obama has violated his oath of duty.  Repeatedly.    When no one was watching.

We didn’t ask that these two remarkable young men give their lives to protect others, including the Iraqis.    We probably would have understood and even forgiven the natural human tendency to run (as many did) when faced with certain death.  They did not.  Character is what you do when no one is watching. 

What we do ask is that the government stop trying to subvert the Constitution,  stop taking away our rights and freedoms,  stop lying, cheating, and wasting tax dollars, while exposing this country to ever increasing dangers.  To stop coddling the enemy,  stop interfering with the education of our children, stop trying to disarm law-abiding citizens, and stop trying to control every aspect of our lives, while taking our tax dollars to fund your nefarious efforts.  The list of things we ask of this government is long and it filled with things we want them to STOP DOING.  And stop doing it covertly and when no one is watching.

We legitimately ask this of our President and our government….but they continue to focus with increasing intensity, on protecting themselves while advancing anti-American and anti-freedom agendas and lining their own pockets, Soviet-style.

We didn’t ask anything of Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter.  They were following orders, following the orders of the Sergeant, following the code of the USMC, following their own instantaneous and deeply embedded sense of what protecting their fellow Marines (and Iraqis) means…and the actions needed to be done to do it.    No one was watching.  But there it was….Character. 

In the meantime, the whole Obama/Liberal/Progressive political machine works feverishly, covertly, and illegally…..lying to citizens, abusing Constitutional rights and privileges…all the while, vehemently denying the overwhelming evidence they are corrupt, greedy, and deeply flawed leaders.  Character is what you do when no one is watching.

We ARE watching.  And we clearly see what kind of character they all have.  Think of what we can’t see.

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  • ALman says:

    Dear Catherine,

    Thank you for this most touching, inspiring, and lump-in-the-throat inducing article. In all earnestness, I share a few thoughts with you.

    As you state, “No one was watching when Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter stood their ground and followed orders.” True, no human. However, there was One, I believe, watching. God. God was not only watching, but was with them. Scripture says, “God is love.” So, Love was watching and was with them. Indeed, it may well have been Love that gave them the courage to stand their ground and protect their charge. And, at the instant of death, I believe this Love embraced and received them into Life, Life eternal. This I believe.

    Your article also inspired me to think that this is what a civilian does in the face of adversity. You, likewise, stand your ground against that which would bring harm to others, even if it comes from those who have sworn to “preserve and protect.” Your ammunition is not bullets. It is a questioning mind. It is a belief in the fundamental goodness of this country and its people. It is also a belief that those who assume responsibility have an accountability. You are standing your ground with your words that find their target which is those who seek the destruction of the American way of life.

    I trust and pray that you and the other VictoryGirls will continue “on duty” for we’re faced with determined enemies and a long struggle. God bless.

    • Jodi G. says:

      Could not have said it better, ALman.

      This is one of the best articles I’ve read in quite a while. Thank you, Catherine.

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you for the compliment and encouragement. And you are absolutely right…God was close to those brave young men. When I witness the morally corrupt people who want to govern and control us, then read about such ordinary, yet incredibly brave young men doing extraordinarily good deeds…well, it’s easy to just lay it out for people to see the huge difference.

      • ALman says:

        The phrase “ordinary, yet incredibly brave young men doing extraordinarily good deeds” may be a key. It’s true that we’ve had some remarkable and extraordinary people in out nation’s history. We’ve also been blessed with untold numbers of “ordinary” people who, when called upon, committed themselves to “extraordinary” deeds! Why we can point to those who testified before congressional committees today. Brave souls calling their government to accountability. Maybe, just maybe, we’re witnessing the beginning of brave civilians, acting as courageous Marines, willing to stand and defend our country in the face of a force that could easily crush them. Maybe. Just maybe.

  • Kate says:

    ALman that was awesome. 🙂

  • T. Paine says:

    As the number of low-information voters and takers seems to ever increase in our nation, goaded and encouraged by despicable self-serving and anti-constitutional politicians, such men of character give me great hope that not all is lost yet.

  • Rayne Poussard says:

    Dear Catherine, I do read with great interest the talk delivered by Gen John Kelly, USMC which could reach the hardest of hearts, however, your ad hominem petty commentary turning a beautiful eulogy into a political diatribe against the Commander in Chief and democrats in general. I am disappointed in your gutter sniping at this inappropriate time using the Generals speech devoid of partisan politics as a Segway into your most unkind disrespectful barrage that does nothing to enhance the good General’ s pain and sorrow as his message to other Gold Star parents. Maybe you would like to redact your statements and apologize to the marine corps and their commander in chief as well as using the general as a stage prop for your shortsightedness. I believe you can do better. Sincerely, RAYNE POUSSARD

  • Mike f says:

    I was there when this happened, we had only been in ramadi for about two days starting our relief in place. I remember being woken up from the explosion and seeing dust settling all around us in the housing we were using which was old army barracks with all the windows sand bagged close. I thank these brave men, who saved my life and the life of many others. In honor to all the men and women who served and made the ultimate sacrifice I thank you and God bless each and every one of you!

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