( – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
Virtually lost in the Blizzard of 2010 was the Patrick Administration’s treatment of an American hero.
In preparation for his second term, Governor Patrick has started making changes in his Administration. One of these changes is the replacement of Tom Kelley, Capt. U.S. Navy, ret., who has served as Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs for MA since 2003.
Based on an article in the Boston Globe http://www.boston.com/news/loc… the removal of Kelley was telegraphed by his treatment at Patrick’s cabinet meetings:
But Kelley’s future with the administration appeared uncertain after the governor excluded him from Cabinet meetings
Its not that MA Veterans’ Services was not performing well. In fact MA is a model for other states in how to deliver services to those veterans that served their country in times of peace and times of conflict. This model delivery system was the result of the work of Kelley and his team, yet he was asked to leave.
Just how was he asked to leave?
Kelley said that his boss, Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, informed him that “the governor and lieutenant governor want to, quote, move in a new direction. I’m not part of that new direction.”
So Kelley was asked to resign, not by the Governor or Lt. Governor, but by another Cabinet Secretary.
Yes, this happens all the time when political leadership changes or embarks on a second term.
But this is different, Tom Kelley is a recipient of the MEDAL OF HONOR. One of less than 90 (I think its 86) living recipients of the Medal of Honor. For this alone he deserved the respect and dignity of being asked to resigned and told why, not from another cabinet secretary, but from the Governor himself.
How the Governor handled the replacement of Kelley as Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs speaks volumes to his view of veterans and the sacrifices they have made for our country. That he could not deliver the news of this change to a Medal of Honor recipient himself is unacceptable and veterans’ everywhere need to call his office and complain of the treatment afford Tom Kelley, I am quite sure that he deserved better.