Joseph J. Flynn's Letter to Judge Sullivan in Support of General Michael T. Flynn
Original letter sent to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan by Joseph J. Flynn.
November 19, 2018
- The Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan
- U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- 333 Constitution Ave, N. W.
- Washington, DC 2001
Re: Michael T. Flynn
Dear Judge Sullivan:
I am writing today as a personal reference to the character of Lt. Gen (R) Michael T. Flynn. As the youngest of Michael’s eight siblings, I have had the honor and privilege of growing up looking up to him as someone in my life that has had the most positive and lasting impact. First, as a child, Michael was an ideal older brother who brought me everywhere with him and taught me many things about life. He was an outstanding role model. Whether it was watching sports, going into town, teaching me how surf or whatever activities we engaged in, Michael was a patient and loving older brother. Unlike a lot of older brothers, Michael encouraged me and his other younger brother Charlie (who is and active duty two-star Army General) to go with him and would watch over us to make sure we could keep up with the older boys. Most of the sports, I played including basketball, surfing, skateboarding and others, I learned from tagging along with Michael and his friends. When he was an adolescent, He was an incredibly strong, brave and confident youth. Michael’s confidence and leadership skills were apparent from a very young age. He was mature beyond his years and that maturity and poise were characteristics I always wanted to emulate. In short, I grew up wanting to be a lot like my older brother Michael and always strived to make him proud.
He was deeply loved by our parents and his other siblings who understood early on that despite our humble beginnings, Michael had several special gifts that were going to catapult him into success in his life. Michael remained extremely close to our parents right up until each of their last days and spent most of his family vacations back in Rhode Island visiting them and his in laws who also lived there. His loyalty and love for family is also manifest in his relationship with his wife Lori, who he met when they were sophomores in High School and have been married for over 37 years. Michael always put family first no matter what and was always interested in each the lives of his eight brothers and sisters and all their children. He has close relationships with all his siblings as well as their children and has always made himself available to them if they are ever in need of his advice and counsel. As a father, even though for many years due to his war multiple war time deployments he was not at home, he is incredibly close to his sons Michael and Mathew and values their love and bond more than anything in his life. He is also now a grandfather of 3 young children with whom he and Lori spend most of their available free time to make sure those children know that their grandparents are a major part of their lives.
Michael’s service to the Nation is very well documented and most importantly appreciated by the leaders he has served under but more importantly by the men and women who have served under his command. Of the many visits I made to various bases and units Michael commanded over his long military career, I was always struck by the same theme I heard in each military base regardless of the circumstances. Michael Flynn, as a leader was equally caring and compassionate (especially about his troopers’ families) as he was demanding and straightforward. Having come from a very humble background, he understood the struggles of everyday soldiers far better than the average officer who may not have had personal experience with poverty or the family issues that often accompany poverty.
Michael always said that he did not see black, white or Hispanic he only saw soldiers who were sacrificing the best years of their lives for the protection of the Nation. Michael’s humble roots gave him instant credibility with average soldiers and their families many of whom also came from working class backgrounds. I remember when he was promoted to Brigadier General, one of the troopers pulled me aside and said, “We love General Flynn he really gets it, we like to call him “the People’s General”. This statement really stuck with me over the years and demonstrated the affinity his soldiers had for the man. I believe it had a lot to do with his ability to relate and understand the daily struggles of soldiers and the stress that military life puts on their families no matter what color or background or where they came from in this country. Michael is a highly decorated 3-star General who is well known for having revolutionized intelligence gathering during wartime. In military intelligence circles his career is legendary. His hard work and leadership inspired me to become a leader in business. I have been a CEO of 3 companies in the past 25 years, following his example and relying on his wise counsel. But, as a brother, the thing I admire most about him is his down to earth nature and his ability to relate to people on an extremely personal level despite his very public status. When Michael Flynn speaks to people, the conversation is usually all about them and nothing about him. He has that uncanny ability to make anyone he engages with feel very important, respected and their voice be heard.
In conclusion, Your Honor writing this letter is difficult. Seeing Michael go through this unfortunate phase in his life is both shocking and sobering. With all due respect to your office, as you pass your judgement, I implore you to look at every aspect of his life, his loyalty to his family, his loyalty to his soldiers, his superiors, and the dedication of his life to the service of the Nation. Michael Flynn is one of the most honorable and honest people I have ever known. As a younger brother I could not be prouder of all he has accomplished and the example he has set for me personally throughout my life. As one of his closest friends, I feel deeply blessed to have a friend as loyal and honorable as Michael T. Flynn and I would gladly give my life for him without hesitation and at a moment’s notice.
Joseph J. Flynn