PUEBLO, Colo. - The Center for American Values will host an event featuring retired Navy commander and Medal of Honor recipient Capt.Thomas Kelley at 4 p.m. Tuesday at 101 S. Main St. in Pueblo.
Kelley will speak about the day he received his medal, his actions during the Vietnam War, and his 30-year career in the Navy. He will also talk about his new book, "The Siren's Call and Second Chances."
It will be Kelley's first visit to the Center for American Values and the Portraits of Valor Gallery in Pueblo. His visit is in preparation for the 2017 Congressional Medal of Honor Convention which will begin on Sept. 11 in in Pueblo.
Kelley was awarded the Medal of Honor a year after leading eight river assault boats on a mission to extract U.S. soldiers from the bank of the Ong Muong Canal in the Kien Hoa Province of South Vietnam.
When a boat malfunctioned, he ordered the other craft to circle the disabled boat that had come under attack and placed his boat directly in the line of enemy fire. A rocket-propelled grenade struck nearby, severely injuring Kelley, but he continued to protect his men until they could get to safety, then ordered medical assistance for himself.
"He is a good man with a great message. His Portrait of Valor quote speaks volumes: 'Moral courage – doing what has to be done because it is the right thing to do – is the true mark of a hero,'" said Matt Albright, program director of the Center for American Values. "Capt. Kelley's visit is an important part of the preparation for the 2017 Medal of Honor convention. We are excited to show him the passion Colorado Springs and Pueblo have for our nation's heroes."
Tuesday's event is free and open to the public.