HONORING THE LIFE OF SHIRLEY MILLER KAY; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 182
(Extensions of Remarks - November 16, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1535]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. JOHN KATKO

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Friday, November 16, 2018

  Mr. KATKO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in celebration of Shirley Miller Kay's 
100th birthday. Ms. Miller Kay has served as a symbol of women's 
empowerment throughout her life and holds the great distinction of 
being the first female from Syracuse to enlist in the United States 
  Shirley Miller Kay was born in Syracuse, New York in 1918 to a family 
with deep Central New York roots. Her father owned a tailing and 
furring business, which Shirley assisted with upon graduating from 
Nottingham High School. Additionally, she was an athlete and natural 
leader, serving as president of her high school's drama club.
  In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Women's United 
States Naval Reserve, better known as WAVES. The program arrived in 
Syracuse in 1943 and Shirley quickly applied to be a part of the 
service. When she was approved for WAVES a few weeks later, Shirley 
learned from the commanding officer that she was the first recruit 
accepted from the Syracuse recruiting station. Upon receiving her rank 
of apprentice seaman, she made history by becoming the first female 
Syracusan enlisted in the Navy.
  Shirley deployed for basic training in Iowa during April of 1943, 
where she took specialized courses to learn skills such as parachute 
rigging. She completed basic training and was officially a member of 
the Navy Reserves. Shirley used her opportunity with the Navy Reserves 
to advocate for equal pay for female members of the Navy, a movement 
which was ultimately successful. After World War II, Shirley moved to 
Maryland and continued her success in a number of professional jobs. 
She worked as a Counseling Manager at the University of Maryland, and 
then helped run a local real estate company. She lived in Maryland for 
15 years before returning home to Central New York where she has 
resided since.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in 
recognizing the remarkable life of Shirley Miller Kay. She continues to 
live a life exemplary of equality and service, two values that all 
Americans should strive to hold themselves to. I thank Shirley, as well 
as all our veterans, for their courage and dedication to our great