by Colonel (Ret) Walter M. Herd, Herd Hills Farm, Simpsonville
Here in Shelby County, we have what an old War College professor of mine would call “an embarrassment of riches”. Other people in history would have given anything to live like we do today. We have so many good things — our freedoms, this bountiful land, and — of course — phenomenal people.
I am excited to support one of those phenomenal people in particular today.
My good friend and fellow Shelby Countian, Ed Gallrein, has filed to run for Kentucky’s 7th Senate District, which includes Anderson, Henry, part of Jefferson, and our own Shelby County.
I want to share a couple of things about Ed Gallrein that you won’t hear from him. That’s because he’s much more likely to talk with you about farming, and ask you about your family, than talk about himself.
To sum it up, Ed has demonstrated the ability to excel at all levels of human leadership, from the tactical level (short-term problem solving) to the strategic level (long-term, enduring solutions). He has led and succeeded in the most elite and fast-paced organizations and military units our Nation has. Ed has also lived a full life as a passionate Kentucky farmer; his family has distinguished themselves for over 100 years with excellence inagriculture, community, and public service.
I first met US Navy SEAL Captain Ed Gallrein in Afghanistan as a fellow Special Operations Task Force Commander. We became friends while sharing the battlefield that was some 6,000 miles (and seemingly 2,000 years) away from our Bluegrass State. Ed and I came together to problem solve and develop solutions for our respective Task Forces conducting sustained combat operations to keep our Nation safe.
Ed is now a highly decorated, retired Navy SEAL Captain living back in Kentucky. He left our Commonwealth for three decades, dedicated to his career as a Navy SEAL Officer. For those of you who don’t know, a Navy SEAL Officer is on duty all day, every day, 24/7. Ed worked in leadership positions that were quite literally responsible for the lives and deaths of the troops assigned to him for nearly 30 years. After active duty, he spent nearly 10 more years as an advisor for Special Operations and Government Agency security activities — activities that affected US National Security and Foreign Policy.
As a member of the elite SEAL Officer community, Ed was not only one of the best, but he earned his way to be one of the best of the best (think all-stars of the super-stars). He was groomed, screened, and assigned to numerous leadership positions that he excelled at along the way. Ed commanded twice as a Navy Captain (equivalent of an Army Colonel’s Brigade or Regimental command).
Not only do I know CAPT Gallrein as a warrior and strategic leader who is a skilled communicator, but by some blessing of coincidence the both of us
retired to our family farms back here in Shelby County, Kentucky. Ed is active in local Veteran’s support efforts. He is also President of a tri-state SEAL Association Chapter and even holds an annual fundraiser at Gallrein Farms for the SEAL widows, orphans, and wounded.
I happen to know that Ed and his family did not retire to this area because he needed to or because he had nowhere else to go. In fact, Ed willingly gave up much more lucrative and luxurious options to contribute his efforts and strategic leadership to help his fellow Kentuckians. Many of Ed’s peers retire to become wealthy “beltway bandits” outside of Washington DC, or Special Operations consultants near Ft Bragg, NC or near the US Special Operations Command in Tampa FL. No: Ed came home because he wanted to.
If you have spent more than 30 minutes in Shelby County, you have heard the name Gallrein mentioned in the same sentence as excellence in agriculture. Ed grew up on the Gallrein Family dairy farm working cattle and raising crops. He could drive a tractor long before he could (legally) drive a car on the road. Evidence of his family farm-life work ethic includes the fact he earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in agriculture, another master’s degree in financial management, yet another master’s in military intelligence (he still holds Top Secret Clearance), and a fourth master’s in strategic studies — among numerous other professional certifications and qualifications including Project Management Professional and Certified Post-Secondary Instructor.
In my humble opinion, we hit the gold mine when my friend came home. I sincerely believe we desperately need Ed’s unmatched credentials, qualifications and expertise to best represent us a Champion for our values in the Kentucky Senate at this time in our Commonwealth’s and Nation’s history.