LT. Gen. John Kelly, commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North, commanded the Multi-National Force-West in Iraq in 2008-09. He recently e-mailed family and friends:God bless the Kelly family. Our nation owes you our gratitude.
"As I think you all know by now, our Robert was killed in action protecting our country, its people, and its values from a terrible and relentless enemy, on 9 Nov, in Sangin, Afghanistan," Kelly wrote.
"He was leading his Grunts on a dismounted patrol when he was taken. They are shaken, but will recover quickly and already back at it.
"He went quickly and thank God he did not suffer. In combat that is as good as it gets, and we are thankful. We are a broken hearted - but proud family. He was a wonderful and precious boy living a meaningful life. He was in exactly the place he wanted to be, doing exactly what he wanted to do, surrounded by the best men on this earth -- his Marines and Navy Doc."
First Lt. Robert Michael Kelly was buried at Arlington on Monday. His big brother, Capt. John Kelly, escorted his body from Dover Air Force Base.
"Many have offered prayers for us and we thank you, but his wonderful wife Heather and the rest of the clan ask that you direct the majority of your prayers to his platoon of Marines, still in contact and in 'harm's way,' and at greater risk without his steady leadership," Gen. Kelly wrote.
All American families benefit from the defense of their nation and its freedoms.
Some American families make outsized contributions to that security.