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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

Celebrating the Memory of a Shoreline Hero

A portion of Route 79 in Madison will soon be renamed in recognition of the life and service of Army Captain Andrew Michael Pedersen-Keel. I introduced and led passage of legislation that renames the section of road, and this past weekend I had the honor of presenting Captain Pedersen-Keel’s parents with a replica of the sign that will mark the “Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel Memorial Highway” in Madison.

veterans

In 2008, Andrew was deployed as a platoon leader in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, where he led his platoon in over 150 combat foot patrols and three air assault operations. Captain Pedersen-Keel studied the Pashto language and earned his Green Beret on June 28, 2012. Following this, he was redeployed in Afghanistan as a Commander in the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. On the morning of March 11, 2013, Captain Pedersen-Keel was mortally wounded.

Captain Pedersen-Keel’s awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, two Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the NATO Medal, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Parachutist Badge. Posthumously, Andrew received a third Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Captain Pedersen-Keel’s parents founded “APK Charities” in memory of their son. For information on the charity, including how to donate, visit www.apkcharities.org.

Honoring Connecticut’s Heroes on Veterans Day

This Saturday is Veterans Day, giving us all an opportunity to thank those who served for the sacrifices they have made to preserve our way of life.

President Woodrow Wilson established this holiday (originally known as Armistice Day) in 1919 to honor the brave Americans who fought and died in World War I. After World War II, Armistice Day was expanded to honor all veterans of our military services, and the holiday’s name was changed to Veterans Day.

While I believe we should honor our veterans every day, this annual holiday is especially important as it allows us to reflect on the true sacrifices our service members have made to protect the liberties we hold most dear.

Connecticut’s Wartime Service Medal is available to anyone who served in the armed forces during a time of war and was a Connecticut resident at the time or currently lives here. Many veterans from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq received the medal as part of their discharge packets, but most veterans who served prior to 2005 are unaware of the medal’s existence. If you believe that you or a loved one may be eligible and would like more information, please visit their website and apply.

veterans