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August 29, 2012

The Real 1%

The best speech given yesterday wasn’t by Ann Romney, Chris Christie or even Arthur Davis. With all due respect to them (I mean that sincerely, not snarkily), the best speech given yesterday wasn’t even delivered in Tampa. It was delivered to the American Legion here in Indianapolis by Lt. General John Kelly (USMC).

“The Real 1%” wasn’t the title of Genera Kelly’s address but it could have been. In a speech that was alternatively motivating and moving (it wasn’t allergies, I was tearing up), the General covered a wide variety of topics. From the continuing War on Terror (it’s in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, not just Afghanistan) to the nature of the enemy we fight (“I don’t know why they hate us and I don’t care”) to the dark side of the focus on “diversity” the General covered a wide range of topics.

The most moving part of the General’s talk was when he addressed the disparity in the burdens born by the 1% who volunteer to serve (and their families) and the vast majority who have no direct contact with anyone in the military. An even smaller subset have paid the most frightful price imaginable.

One of the reasons I jumped at the chance to come to Legion’s convention is in my early time here at the HQ a lot of what we were doing focused on Iraq and Afghanistan. My first post as an Open Blogger was about Scott Beauchamp and it was something I felt very strongly about, as did most of the readers here. Since Vietnam the leftwing in this country has sought to downplay the heroism and virtue of the military. More dangerously, they sought to portray veterans as dangerous and damaged people who were victims. Only the faults of the few were to be discussed, never the virtue of the many. Well, the playing field has changed with the advent of alternative and online media. Now we have a platform to push back against the liberal narrative and to highlight the courage, sacrifice and valor of those who willingly serve our nation.

As General Kelly explains, it’s important to those who serve that we who benefit from their protection realize the source of our security.


He never addressed it directly but General Kelly lost a son in Afghanistan during that terrible season for the Marines of 3/5.

There’s so much more to this speech, I really encourage you to set aside the time to watch it all.

I’ll leave you with one last excerpt. General Kelly has some very strong views on who we are as Americans and how we should view ourselves.

Lt. General Kelly will soon be promoted to full General and head up the US Southern Command.

BTW- Mitt Romney will be addressing the Legion's convention today at around 3pm eastern. I'll be in the hall for that so follow me on Twitter for bad photos and poorly spelled live updates.

(*Full disclosure: The American Legion invited me out to the convention and covered my travel and lodging expenses. No one from the Legion has seen or asked to see this post and they have no input whatsoever on its content.)

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posted by DrewM. at 12:30 PM

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