Remarks by Alex Quade at the National Press Club premiere of ‘Danger Close’

Thank you– awesome to see a full house, despite tonight’s horrible D.C. traffic… and the late-breaking news about Korea, Russia and Syria (*and why I just received a “regret” from a West Wing adviser… so am happy all y’all made it!)  Know we’ll still have a few late-shows trickling in… please allow me to acknowledge some good friends.

Defense News’ Jen Judson, right, interviews Alex Quade.

We have a mixed audience here tonight, not just Special Forces “Quiet Professionals.”  I’d like to acknowledge my fellow journalists … who’ve also covered the frontlines… and especially those who did not come home.

Thank you to Jen Judson of Defense News and the National Press Club… I’m happy this premiere benefits the NPC Journalism Institute– which helps reporters with programs focused on high standards and ethical conduct.

— Honorable Noel Koch — Among many other things… Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense… former Special Forces… Noel was responsible for the restoration of U.S. Special Operations Forces a while back.  I’ve known Noel for years — and his commitment to our wounded warriors and their families. Thank you, Noel!

— Dick Marcinko — Founder of SEAL Team 6, is here somewhere.

Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense who also was Special Forces, Noel Koch, with Alex Quade.

— Gen. Craig McKinley — Former Chief of Natl.Guard & member of Joint Chiefs of Staff is on his way here from the airport… Craig helped me hitch-hike on ANG planes to Afghanistan… you’ll see a photo of me in film racked out next to empty caskets on a cargo plane.  Thank you, Craig!

Col. Nicole “Fifi” Malachowski — and her husband, Col. Paul Malachowski– trying to make it– they have young twins at home.  Nicole was the first female AF Thunderbird pilot, & most recently, was Director of the White House Office of Joining Forces — she’s a very dear friend, who’s inspired me for a decade.

Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation members — (*recipients Flo Groberg & Barney Barnum emailed me their regrets, as previous engagement… but they’re here in spirit!) — we also have members of The Green Beret Foundation.

— We have TWO Special Forces Association Chapters (Pentagon + DC) here tonight — and a big THANK YOU to former Green Beret Scott Eshom of Goldman Sachs, for the lovely reception before our screening tonight!  Scott’s still watching out for his Special Forces brothers tonight… we have Rangers & other “Quiet Professionals” here too, from across the National Security spectrum. Thank you, all for your service!

Jon Corley — I have a battle brother here — former member of 1/508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who was in Afghanistan during the time of the Chinook mission you’ll see in the film.  Jon now serves in the Armed Services Committee Chairman’s office.

— ***Thavy Ram — am so honored to have a Gold Star Family member here. Please join me in giving a round of applause and support to Ms.Thavy Ram, who was Staff Sgt.Rob Pirelli’s girlfriend, when he was killed in action.  ** I knew that Rob would want me to honor his sweetheart, THAVY RAM with these roses.  I’ve also brought her a piece of his Combat Outpost Pirelli wall… so, Rob is truly here with us tonight in spirit.

Lastly… I want to acknowledge someone else who’s here in spirit… my late mentor, MOH recipient COL. Robert Howard… who was an SF & Ranger & Delta legend… nominated for the medal 3-times.  Before he passed away, Ranger Bob tasker’d me with Charlie Mike— “Continue the Mission” of telling the stories of our Special Operators… for their families who resent their continual absence downrange… and so America doesn’t forget. Which is a good reminder for our journalists here, too. We need to keep trying to get the stories out, despite the obstacles.

THANK YOU so much for allowing me to share a little of YOUR closed community’s stories, and to try to answer the questions for our young journalists and journalism students in this audience… so that we may try to continue the mission of responsible war reportage.  Thank you!