House Passes Delgado Bill to Name Local Post Office After Fallen Pine Plains Soldier

October 16, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Representative Antonio Delgado’s (NY-19) bipartisan legislation to rename the Pine Plains Post Office after fallen soldier, Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon M. Kent. Senior Chief Kent, a Dutchess County native, was killed in Syria by a suicide bombing during her fifth combat tour in the Middle East this past January. Below is a video and transcript of Rep. Delgado’s remarks on the floor honoring Senior Chief Kent.

Click here to watch Rep. Delgado’s full remarks.

“Today, the House took a critical step to honor the extraordinary legacy of Senior Chief Petty Officer Kent by renaming the Pine Plains Post Office in Dutchess County the Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon M. Kent Post Office. Her service and dedication to this country should be an example for us all.” Rep. Delgado continued, “I will continue to work to make this bill law to serve as a daily reminder of her heroism and sacrifice.”

Rep. Delgado introduced this bipartisan bill in April along with Reps. Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Joseph Morelle (NY-25), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), and Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) to rename the Pine Plains Post Office, located at 7722 South Main Street, the “Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon M. Kent Post Office.” This post office is located in Senior Chief Kent’s hometown.

In 2016, Senior Chief Kent survived thyroid cancer, and in 2018 commissioned for a special officer program to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. She was later disqualified, having not met the required medical standards established under Department of Defense (DOD) Instruction 6130.03 to commission as an officer in the armed forces. She appealed, and was denied a waiver by the Navy, and in November 2018 deployed to Syria. Senior Chief Kent was the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Joint Service Achievement Medal.

Senior Chief Kent, who passed at the age of 35, was a wife and a mother of two beautiful children. “There is no higher calling than to serve one’s country, and Senior Chief Kent answered that call with unparalleled devotion. Honoring Senior Chief Kent in this permanent way will serve as a daily reminder of her heroism and sacrifice” said Delgado, who has honored her on the Floor of the House of Representatives and spearheaded efforts in Congress to change the DOD regulation that forced Senior Chief Kent to deploy to Syria rather than pursue academic study.

Rep. Delgado gave the following remarks on the House floor:

“Thank you. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a true American hero: fallen soldier, Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent of Pine Plains, New York, who was killed at the age of 35 on January 16th of this year by a suicide bombing in Syria during her fifth combat tour in the Middle East.

“Senior Chief Kent, a Dutchess County native and Stissing Mountain High School graduate was a wife, the mother of two beautiful children, and a cancer survivor. She spoke five languages, including six dialects of Arabic and deployed with the Navy SEALS to Iraq and Afghanistan on four different occasions.

“Senior Chief Kent gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country and will be remembered for her courage and determination. She was the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Joint Service Achievement Medal, to name a few.

“In 2016, Senior Chief Kent survived thyroid cancer and in 2018 commissioned for a special officer program to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.

“Because of a flawed DOD policy, she was found medically unfit to pursue this degree, and yet, somehow, fit enough to be deployed to Syria. Following this decision, Senior Chief Kent sought a waiver from the Navy to override DOD’s finding, and again was denied.

“Prior to her death, Senior Chief Kent worked tirelessly to change the Navy and DOD policies which resulted in her fifth deployment. Due to her work, the Navy has made positive changes to its waiver policy in Senior Chief Kent’s honor. I remain hopeful the DOD will follow in the Navy’s footsteps.

“Today, I urge the House to pass H.R. 2151 to create a memorial for Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent in Dutchess County and name the post office at 7722 South Main Street in Pine Plains, New York, the ‘Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon M. Kent Post Office.’

“Senior Chief Kent’s memory will live on because she defined what true service means. Honoring Senior Chief Kent in this permanent way will serve as a daily reminder of her heroism and sacrifice.

“Senior Chief Kent is survived by her husband, retired Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Kent, and their two young sons. My thoughts remain with their children, husband, and the rest of her family and friends. I urge my colleagues to make this bill law to honor her life and legacy. With that, I yield back.”