Category: Archive

Sligo salutes a general’s homecoming

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Boles, however, took some leave from his duties recently in order to attend a ceremony in Ireland, for which he was accompanied by his mother, Rita.
The ceremony took place in Ballymote, County Sligo, home to a memorial honoring the fighting 69th regiment and a general of another time, Civil War era brigadier general and Ballymote native, Michael Corcoran.
General Boles and his mom were the main guests at the event which was organized by Sligo TD John Perry.
“It is a special privilege for me, on behalf of the people of Sligo, to welcome our guest of honor to Ballymote,” said Perry.
“Today we welcome back another son of Sligo who has achieved eminence in the military service of his country. Major General Boles’ father and mother emigrated from Sligo to New York in the early 1950s. His father James Boles came from Geevagh and his mother, Rita Taaffe, came from Ballintogher.
“They raised four boys in New York. The eldest son Vincent, or Vinny as he is know to his friends, is our guest of honor today.”
Perry presented Boles with a copy of a photo hanging in the official reception room of Leinster House in Dublin. It shows President John Fitzgerald Kennedy making a presentation of a flag of the Irish Brigade’s 69th Regiment to the people of Ireland
During his visit in 1963.
“The 69th was formed by Irish immigrants to preserve the unity of their adopted homeland,” said Perry.
“Over decades of military service to the United States, the men and women of the 69th displayed remarkable personal courage born of an Irish identity and an American military comradeship. They have bequeathed a legacy of valor and honor in the preservation of freedom and liberty in the United States of America.
“These sentiments apply not just to those that have served in the 69th, but also to all those of Irish heritage who have served with honor and distinction in the U.S. armed forces. Today, in honoring the visit of Major General Boles to Sligo, we salute that Irish American heritage of service to the U.S. armed forces,” Perry said.
As part of the ceremony, Boles laid a wreath in memory of deceased members of the 69th.
In February, 2003, just days before the invasion of Iraq, Boles was interviewed by the Irish Echo. He was a brigadier general at the time and commander of United States Army Field Support Command in Kuwait.
In the interview, Boles said that early in his military career he had reckoned that to make the rank of major would be enough to call his army career a success.
As it turned out, that would be just half the title of the significantly higher rank he currently holds.
In July 2003, Boles assumed duties as commanding general of the 3rd Corps Support Command in Balad, Iraq. With 16,000 soldiers under his immediate command, Boles ran the provision of all supplies and logistics services to the 150,000 members of the coalition force in Iraq at the time.
In 2004, Boles was promoted to major general and was assigned as the army’s 33rd chief of ordnance. In this position he was responsible for the training of the 120,000 Soldiers in the Ordnance Corps in the fields of mechanical and electronic maintenance,
ammunition handling, and explosive ordnance disposal. He subsequently took up his current posting at the Pentagon.

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