By Chad Robichaux –
What a privilege it was for me to be the guest of honor & speaker for the 3d ANGLICO 243rd US Marine Corps Birthday Ball on November 10th. The honor was heightened because this is also my son, Hunter‘s command, I also wanted to say a special thanks to LtCol Knouer and fellow Recon Brother, SgtMaj Vance (pictured below) for the kind invitation, hospitality and the sweet Thor Hammer – “Thunder From The Skies, Lightening From The Sea!”
I was also privileged to get to know Lcpl Brendan Kelly (pictured above) who serves with Hunter, at 3d ANGLICO. He is the young heroic Marine who’s put himself in harms way during both last years Vegas Shooting and the Thousand Oaks Shooting last week, where his brave actions saved lives and reflected incredibly on the US Marine Corps and the decency and selflessness that should exist in us all. I was honored to give him a personal coin and some Iwo Jima sand as a token of my respect and appreciation for his heroic actions.
After the Thousand Oaks shooting I received numerous media requests, through Mighty Oaks Foundation, because the shooter was a Combat Veteran Marine.
The knee jerk assumption is his killing spree “had to be” related to PTSd.
Because of my work at Mighty Oaks, authoring books and speaking on PTS, I recognize the struggles associated with combat trauma to warriors; In fact, my life and the Mighty Oaks ministry is dedicated to serving those warriors.
However, “PTSd” is neither an excuse or a cause of a mass shooting. There were 23 million OTHER veterans in America that night, many who struggle with the tolls of war who DID NOT shoot up a night club and murder 12 people. Some in fact where at the scene and one was Brendan.
This is who represents my Marine Corps and the veteran community… not the evil selfish killer who just so happened to serve in the Marines.
Let’s not be quick to pin the blame on the attributes and experiences of military service for such incidents. But, if you must associate military service to such events, do so for the heroic attributes that exemplify the true American warrior that was displayed by Lcpl Brendan Kelly.