Rep. DesJarlais Honors Admiral Frank Kelso on House Floor
July 18, 2013
Full Text of Speech:
I rise today to honor the extraordinary life of Admiral Frank Benton Kelso II, a great American and true son of Tennessee. On Sunday, June 23rd, Tennessee's 4th Congressional District and our country lost this great American hero.
To describe Admiral Kelso as honorable, principled and dedicated would be insufficient. His achievements and individual character are matched only by his patriotism and love of country.
Admiral Kelso's seventy-nine year life included a gallant and decorated forty-two year career in the United States Navy.
Admiral Kelso graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1956 and began his illustrious career in the Navy by joining the nuclear submarine program where he would later command two nuclear submarines.
In 1986 the Admiral commanded the Atlantic Fleet, planning military actions against Libya that significantly curbed Moammar Gaddafi's terrorist activities.
In 1990, he earned the position of Chief of Naval Operations -- the Navy's top uniformed officer. During this time he successfully led naval operations in the Persian Gulf War.
In addition to his distinguished naval career, Admiral Kelso was a family man. He was happily married to Landess McCown Kelso for 56 years until she passed away last year. Together, they had four children and eight grandchildren.
He retired from the Navy in 1994 and in 2003 he returned to his hometown of Fayetteville, Tennessee where he would spend the last ten years of his life. These years were filled with love for his family and friends and service to his community.
I believe that there is no greater example of commitment to one's country than the life of Admiral Frank Kelso.
His legacy of integrity and courage truly exemplify the best of the United States Navy. To quote the celebrated song of our Navy, "Here's wishing you a happy voyage home."
I yield the balance of my time.