11/23/09 — Kelly's year: 4th Fighter Wing commander has handled more than most

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Kelly's year: 4th Fighter Wing commander has handled more than most

Col. Mark Kelly has been the leader of the 4th Fighter Wing for more than a year now -- and there has been much on his plate.

Aside from the adjustment of moving from desert combat to leading a complex fighter wing stateside, Col. Kelly was the one who had to handle the grief of a base that had just lost two of its own.

And that is not an easy task -- especially when it is your job to remind those who serve with you that there is a mission and jobs that still need to be done. You don't have time or the luxury of succumbing to grief -- even if you might want to.

Col. Kelly handled that -- and many other tasks -- with the honor and grace that make a leader.

Like anyone who is put into a position of authority, he will likely look back at mistakes or areas where he could have handled a situation differently -- a good leader always does.

But when the chips were down and the time came for him to be the commander the 4th Fighter Wing needed -- Col. Kelly got that job done.

Now, he has a little less than a year to go in a command that has not been the easiest -- and he will soon have to think about the next place, the next assignment.

He should know that he has been the leader this community needed when its heart was broken.

And for that service, and others, we are grateful.

Published in Editorials on November 23, 2009 10:47 AM