Medal of Honor recipients stress loyalty, teamwork in talk to students

By WCVB Boston's News Leader September 16, 2015

BOSTON —Two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients spoke Wednesday to students at Boston College High School.

Tom Kelley, a Somerville, Massachusetts, native and 1956 Boston College High School graduate, and Gary Wetzel, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, spoke with the students.

As an officer in the Navy, Kelley served in the Vietnam War and was decorated for saving dozens of his fellow crew members.

Wetzel served in the Army during the Vietnam War and was decorated for his extraordinary heroism in his efforts to aid fellow crewmen. 

A Blackhawk helicopter carrying the American heroes was greeted by hundreds of cheering students.

“Being able to put yourself in harm’s way just for the sake of your fellow man, that's incredible and that’s something we all want to strive for,” Boston College High School senior class President Trent Chinnaswamy said.

“Loyalty, patriotism and teamwork, service before self are built into the curriculum here at Boston College High and my time here prepared me for a life of doing that,” Kelley said.

Kelley and Wetzel are among 42 of the 78 living Medal of Honor recipients in Boston this week for the Medal of Honor Society's National Convention.

“Very few people want to talk about being in combat because it’s not a fun topic at all, but it’s the friendships you make, the teamwork you established and the long-lasting bonds that stay with your forever,” Kelley said.

“Our pride is something that's based on what our alumni have done and the great things they have done, and it’s great to see them come back,” Chinnaswamy said. 

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