PITTSBURGH (WWLP) – President Barack Obama said that Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan put himself in danger, so that he could save the lives of others. Speaking before the VFW convention in Pittsburgh Tuesday, the president took time to pay tribute to each of the five service members killed in last week’s shooting attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The president described Sullivan, a Springfield native, as a man greatly admired by other Marines.
“Back In Massachusetts, Tom Sullivan cheered for his Boston teams. In battle, said comrades, ‘Sully’ was just everything a Marine should be. In two tours in Iraq, he earned a combat action ribbon, for his wounds: two Purple Hearts. When he was warned that a gunman was there in Chattanooga, he ran in so that others could live. Today we echo the words of his community: Gunnery Sergeant Thomas J. Sullivan was our hero, and he will never be forgotten. Thank you for protecting us,” the president said.
In addition to Sullivan, the president spoke about Marine Lance Corporal Squire “Skip” Wells, Marine Staff Sergeant David Wyatt, Marine Sergeant Carson Holmquist, and Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith. Play the video to hear what the president had to say about each of the victims.