Leader McConnell Thanks General John Kelly
‘It was only by working closely with him and his team that this Congress has been able to record so many substantial accomplishments for the American people. The Marine Corps is stronger for John Kelly’s years of leadership. America is better for his distinguished career of service. As he departs the White House this month, I extend my deep gratitude for his job well done.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding White House Chief of Staff, General John Kelly:
“Bidding farewell to our departing colleagues is never easy. Neither is seeing off a number of other colleagues, beyond the Senate, with whom we’ve had the privilege of working closely. For the past two years, America has been treated to a brilliant example of public service on one of its highest possible stages. First as Secretary of Homeland Security and then as White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly has served the president and the nation with great distinction. But this was far from the first chapter. His entire career -- and life – have been utterly oriented around his deep patriotic commitment.
“John Kelly spent the better part of his four decades in the Marine Corps stationed far from Washington. As thousands of his peers waited to be drafted into military service, John took the initiative. He enlisted. Then he completed Officer Candidate School. He earned a reputation as a loyal brother in arms and an outstanding leader of Marines. He commanded infantry units at Camp Lejeune, Quantico, and Camp Pendleton. He served at the Supreme Allied Command in Europe, and as Commander of U.S. Southern Command. He took on real hardship postings – like the House of Representatives. He served there in the Commandant’s Liaison Office. And when the call came, he led Marines into combat in Iraq.
“As his Marines would tell anyone, he leads with a confidence that comes from decades of dedicated preparation. He leads with a resolve that comes from deep-rooted patriotism. And he leads with an understanding – as personal and painful an understanding as could be possible – about the sacrifice that our freedom requires.
“General Kelly once said this to a gathering of his fellow Gold Star parents: ‘Those with less of a sense of service to the nation will never understand it when men and women of character step forward and look danger and adversity straight in the eye, and refuse to blink or give ground even to their own deaths. The protected can’t begin to understand the price paid so they and their families can sleep safe and free at night.’ John Kelly and his family know that price. They have paid that price as fully as anyone has. But as is so often the case, it is those who have already given so much who seem the most willing to give more.
“John’s service as Secretary of Homeland Security and now as White House Chief of Staff reflected the values and instincts that made him such an effective leader of Marines. It was only by working closely with him and his team that this Congress has been able to record so many substantial accomplishments for the American people. The Marine Corps is stronger for John Kelly’s years of leadership. America is better for his distinguished career of service. As he departs the White House this month, I extend my deep gratitude for his job well done.”
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