Thursday Evening Keynote: Col. Tom Manion, USMC (Ret.)
Col. Tom Manion started his career in the Marine Corps – retiring after 30 years as a Colonel. Besides his military career, Tom joined Johnson & Johnson in 1990 and through the years has held various leadership roles building a reputation for delivering results. Tom is the father of 1stLt. Travis Manion. Travis was a Marine leader who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in April 2007.
After the loss of Travis, the family established the Travis Manion Foundation to support our military, the families of the fallen and to help create the next generation of leaders. Through the foundation, Tom has worked within the community and around the country to galvanize people around him, inspiring them to convey a sense of sacrifice and public service in all they do. Tom’s late wife, founder and visionary of the Travis Manion Foundation, Janet Manion, passed away April 24, 2012, devoting every day to putting service above self.
“Col Manion’s writing is simple and powerful. He tells Travis and Brendan’s stories as a narrator of old, in the third person, and thus is able to make the boys seem alive as he relates them discussing their hopes and dreams and of Looney meeting the woman who would later become his wife. It’s this same visceral writing, however, that will make the reader’s heart ache when the Manions are told on a bright Sunday morning of their son’s death, and how it took Looney’s wife seeing his body in the casket to accept the reality of his death…the American public has been deliberately sheltered from war, and America needs to see its consequences in order to grasp its toll on the few military families.”
— Marine Corps Gazette, Book Review
“Brothers Forever is the story of two warrior brothers-in-arms who are bonded forever by their love of country, their shared need to serve, their selflessness, their courage, and war. This is the story of a deep and lasting friendship that lives on in the hearts of all who knew and loved them. A deeply moving, true-to-life tale of two men, two brothers, two American heroes, who now rest with the angels, side-by-side at Arlington cemetery. God bless them both.”
—Gary Sinise, award-winning actor and founder of the veterans-supporting Gary Sinise Foundation
“For those who might question America’s character, this account of two remarkable young men will restore confidence. So long as our country breeds committed warriors like Travis Manion and Brendan Looney, we will pass down our freedoms intact to the next generation. Their story is the stuff of legends, yet for them it was very real.”
—General James Mattis, USMC (Ret.), former commander of US Central Command