RICHLAND James Mattis, the retired Marine Corps general President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate for defense secretary, came of age in a cloistered community created by the federal government at the dawn of the nuclear age.
In this town carved out of the sagebrush lands of Eastern Washington, nearly everyone had a parent working at the nearby Hanford Engineer Works, site of a large-scale nuclear reactor. The atom bomb was the town’s business, and Columbia High School, Mattis’ alma mater, bore a mushroom cloud atop its crest.
Mattis graduated in 1968, as a shy, skinny kid whose parents never bought a television and encouraged him to read from a big home library.
In a storied Marine career, he emerged as a keen student of history known for compassion and respect for those he commanded, impatience with bureaucracy and a relentless determination to pursue enemy forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
An interesting look at the small town roots of GEN Mattis.
Read the whole thing.