Notable Nevadans

19 de mayo de 2016






May 19, 2016

Mr. HELLER: Mr. President, today, I wish to recognize Staff Sergeant Kat Kaelin for her outstanding contributions in serving our country. In 2011, SSG Kaelin was selected to serve as a member of a 20-woman Cultural Support Team (CST) that assisted Special Operations missions in locating terrorists for an eight-month period. It gives me great pleasure to recognize her achievement in qualifying for this prestigious position and for her continued dedication in serving the female military community.  

SSG Kaelin joined the Nevada National Guard while she was still in her junior year of high school at Spring Creek High School. Beginning in August of 2011, she served in an eight-month mission in Iraq as a member of CST-2. The team was designed specifically to serve as a resource for the 75th Ranger Regiment in its mission by gathering information from Afghan women and children. To become a member of the team, SSG Kaelin endured intense fitness training and psychological testing. After successfully finishing training, she became the first and only woman from the Nevada National Guard to join a CST. SSG Kaelin earned a combat action badge for her service in this role. Her sacrifice in defending our freedoms is invaluable.

In May of 2012, SSG Kaelin returned to the United States, and she is currently finishing her military career in the inactive ready reserves. Since returning from deployment, she has dedicated her time to a new mission to help others returning home from service. Specifically, she has been fighting to assist women veterans and their children who are homeless. She has become a powerful voice on behalf of female veterans, and I am thankful for all that she done for our country and the State of Nevada. She is now running for Ms. Veteran America for 2016 in her endeavors to increase awareness for female veterans. I wish her the best of luck in this competition.

I extend my deepest gratitude to SSG Kaelin for her courageous contributions to our nation. Her unwavering dedication to her career is commendable, and she stands as a shining example for future generations of heroes. SSG Kaelin’s service to her country and her bravery earn her a place among the outstanding men and women who have valiantly defended our nation. 

As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I recognize Congress has a responsibility not only to honor the brave individuals who serve our nation, but also to ensure they are cared for when they return home. Equally as important, it is crucial that female service members and veterans have access to their specific health care needs. There are countless distinguished women who have made sacrifices beyond measure and deserve nothing but the best treatment. I remain committed to upholding this promise for our veterans and service members in Nevada and throughout the nation and will continue to fight until this becomes a reality.

Throughout her tenure, SSG Kaelin has demonstrated professionalism, commitment to excellence, and dedication to the highest standards of the United States Army. I am both humbled and honored by her service and am proud to have had someone from the Nevada National Guard serve our nation in such a significant role. Today, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing SSG Kaelin for all of her accomplishments and wish her well in her future endeavors.

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