As part of its 50th Anniversary Speaker Series, Marian Court College will host Captain Thomas Kelley and his co-author and wife, Joan Kelley, on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. as they discuss their new memoir.
Kelley, a graduate of the College of Holy Cross, is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War. During a mission to extract a U.S. Army Infantry company from a canal bank in South Vietnam, his convoy came under attack and Kelley suffered a severe head injury. He continued to relay directions to the convoy until his crippled boat was repaired and the group was able to move out. Following his retirement, Kelley worked as a civilian in the Department of Defense and later served as the Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services until his retirement in 2011.
His wife, Joan, earned her bachelor’s degree from Emmanuel College, master’s from Boston University and J.D. from New England School of Law. She is a retired commander in the Naval Reserve. Starting out as a public affairs officer, she was stationed in Boston, New York, Norway and Italy and later served with the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain during the Somalia extraction and on the U.S. Department of Defense news desk during Desert Storm. In 1996, she was hired as counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, followed by a position at the Veteran Association’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals. She returned to state government in 2008 as counsel for the state’s employee health insurance agency implementing the Affordable Care Act. She retired from state government in 2013 after 25 years of service.
“We are honored to welcome the Kelleys, hear their heroic stories and pay tribute to the years of service they gave to this country,” said Marian Court College President Dr. Denise Hammon.
The event will be held on campus at Marian Court College, located at 35 Little’s Point Rd. in Swampscott. Marian Court is one of more than 3,000 schools nationwide participating in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, offering military veterans a college education at no cost.
Tickets to the event are $15, but free for students and active military. Proceeds will benefit The Ahern Family Charitable Foundation and Marian Court College scholarships. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.mariancourt.edu.