PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today met with Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, the Remsburg family, and U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Holly Katke to discuss Sinema’s work on behalf of Arizona’s veteran community. Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger, was on his tenth deployment in October 2009 when he was severely wounded by an IED in Afghanistan. Following several dozen surgeries and years of various therapies, Cory made remarkable progress. In 2014, he was highlighted by the President during the State of the Union Address, and earlier this year, he participated in the annual Department of Defense Warrior Games as a member of the Special Operations Command team in rowing and cycling. Cory now lives in Gilbert, AZ, with his service dog, Leo.
“Servicemembers like Cory and Holly put their lives on the line to keep Arizona safe and secure, and we are forever in their debt. I am committed to ensuring they have the support they need and complete access to the benefits they’ve earned,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Holly Katke was shot in the head by a sniper while working as an Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman on a mission with a group of Navy SEALS in Iraq in August of 2010. The damage from the bullet caused Holly to lose her sight and have difficulty with speech and mental function and limited to no use of her right leg, arm, and hand. Holly began rehabilitation in Tampa, FL where she met Annie Remsburg, Cory’s mom. Annie convinced Holly and her daughter, Leah, to move to Gilbert, AZ and reached out to various veterans’ organizations to fully fund the building of her new home. Since her injuries, Chief Petty Officer Katke has graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Trident University in health sciences. Both Cory and Holly are members of the White Heart Network, an organization dedicated to serving the needs of severely injured warriors through direct community support.
Sinema has long been a champion for Arizona veterans and military families. She recently secured her bipartisan Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support Act in the Senate-passed version of the defense bill. The U.S. House also included the legislation in its version of the bill earlier this month. The legislation was inspired by Sgt. Daniel Somers, an Arizona Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq and was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and PTSD upon returning home. He lost his life to suicide in 2013. The bill requires that the Department of Defense work with the Red Cross to collect from new servicemembers the names of loved ones they consider to be their network of support. In return, the Department of Defense and Red Cross will provide the network of support information about the benefits and services available to military members.