A picture of Representative Gerald E. Connolly
Gerald C.
Democrat VA 11

About Rep. Gerald
  • Commending Senior Airman Veronica Cox on Her Efforts Following the 2011 Earthquake in Japan

    by Representative Gerald E. Connolly

    Posted on 2013-01-02

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    CONNOLLY of virginia in the house of representatives Wednesday, January 2, 2013 Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize Senior Airman Veronica Cox of Lorton, Virginia, for demonstrating exceptional personal and moral courage during humanitarian assistance after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit northeast Japan on March 11th, 2011.

    Airman Cox volunteered for humanitarian assistance duty and was part of the advanced command element in the town of Sanriku-cho as an intelligence analyst. Being able to communicate fluently in Japanese, she was able to greatly assist in integrating the Japanese-U.S. response within the crucial first 24 hours as well as the days that followed. She met with the village elder and clearly communicated necessary medical and survival instructions. She flew with nine search and rescue teams and directly enabled the delivery of 3,000 pounds of food, water and medical supplies Three days after the earthquake, Airman Cox was able to recognize the Japanese characters asking for help spelled out by rocks on the roof of a senior-care facility. A further investigation led to the discovery of 200 Japanese civilians within the rubble of the building.

    For her service during the crisis, Airman Cox and the aircrew received recognition from the Emperor of Japan. She received the Air Force Commendation Medal and was selected as a linguist for the 5th Air Force Vice Command during U.S. and Japanese Ministry of Defense-level meetings. She also received recognition and awards from the Japan Self- Defense forces and civilian organizations.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Senior Airman Veronica Cox for her tremendous service to our nation and her valiant humanitarian assistance to the people of Japan.


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