(Extensions of Remarks - May 19, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 80 (Thursday, May 19, 2016)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E755-E756]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. JOE COURTNEY

                             of connecticut

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 19, 2016

  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the distinguished 
military service of Army Sergeant Micah Welintukonis of Coventry, 
Connecticut who will retire on May 19, 2016 after 16 years and 5 months 
of active duty. Sgt Welintukonis' record reads like a history book of 
U.S. military action over the last

[[Page E756]]

22 years. He served in Kosovo during his first stint of active duty in 
the 1990s. Later, as a member of the Connecticut National Guard he 
deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, then served in 
Afghanistan where he was severely injured by a suicide bomb attack in 
2012. During that time, he rose through the ranks to Sergeant and 
accumulated an impressive array of awards and medals, including the 
Purple Heart, Army Commendation with Valor, Combat Medic Badge, Expert 
Infantry Badge, Commanding Generals Certificate of Merit, and the Coast 
Guard and United States Marine Corps Certificates of Appreciation.
  At the time of his injury, he was a medic, certified at the highest 
levels and performed many life-saving missions with skill and care for 
the men and women he served with.
  The first time I met Sgt. Welintukonis was under extraordinary 
circumstances. He had just arrived at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, 
Maryland where he had flown in from Landstuhl Hospital in Germany, 
still suffering in agonizing pain from his life threatening abdominal 
injury. His amazing wife, Camilla, was at his bedside comforting him, 
but it was clear that his condition was very critical. Even though he 
was not aware of my presence, I had the opportunity to witness his 
incredible inner strength and ferocious will to live that carried him 
through that dark hour and a long and difficult recovery. With the 
support of his wife and family, Micah is healthy and ready to start a 
new chapter of his life.
  Wherever he and his family go, one thing is sure. Micah will be a 
passionate advocate for American veterans and for a strong national 
defense. I know that because my email inbox has been bursting with 
messages, articles, and suggestions--sometimes sent in the middle of 
the night--about improving services for those who wear the uniform of 
our country. Today, he is active in veterans' service organizations 
such as the Connecticut American Legion, Special Operations Wounded 
Warriors, and as the Director of InTheLineOfDuty, a volunteer-run 
charity for First Responders.
  In addition to that formal involvement he has organized fund raiser 
walk-a-thons, school visits, and national veterans media events to 
generate funds and awareness of the challenges America's veterans, in 
particular wounded veterans, confront every day.
  America has been, and still is, lucky to have the tenacious, 
spirited, (sometimes a little grouchy) and high-quality contributions 
of Sgt. Micah Welintukonis over the last 22 years. Please join me in 
thanking him, his wife Camilla, and their children for all they have 
done for our nation and wish them well in all their future endeavors.