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Brad A.
Democrat NE 2

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  • Honoring Major Melissa Dunlow

    by Representative Brad Ashford

    Posted on 2015-02-10

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    ASHFORD of nebraska in the house of representatives Tuesday, February 10, 2015 Mr. ASHFORD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mrs. Melissa Dunlow for her 25 years of service in the United States Air Force Reserves, seventeen of which were served on active duty. Mrs. Dunlow grew up in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. She had an interest in traveling and although she had the desire to attend college, it was not financially feasible. In her senior year of high school, Mrs. Dunlow entered the delayed enlistment program, and subsequently active duty with the United States Air Force. Mrs. Dunlow was first assigned to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma as an Air Transportation Specialist; which primarily meant manual labor of loading cargo and passengers onto military aircraft. Mrs. Dunlow applied for and was approved to cross- train into the paralegal career field where she could perform administrative work. During the four and a half years Mrs. Dunlow served as a paralegal, she took college classes at night and on Saturdays to complete her bachelor's degree. She then applied for a commission and attended Officer Training School about three weeks after her college graduation. Mrs. Dunlow's first assignment as a Second Lieutenant was to Offutt AFB in Bellevue, Nebraska, in 2003. While stationed there, she met her future husband, Neil who was also stationed at Offutt. Mrs. Dunlow applied for a ROTC teaching position at University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill. The couple married in June 2006 and Mrs. Dunlow was assigned to Chapel Hill the next month. However, her husband Neil remained at Offutt to fulfill his duty requirement. During their separation, Mr. Dunlow came to realize that the Bellevue/Papillion area was where he wanted to start an orthodontic practice as well as a family. Together, they decided to separate from active duty and make a life in Nebraska. Mrs. Dunlow returned to the area in a civil service position in Human Resources at STRATCOM while Mr. Dunlow opened a small orthodontic practice in Bellevue. Mrs. Dunlow joined the Air Force Reserves as a Liaison Officer to the Civil Air Patrol. After ``buying in'' her active duty time and completing the minimum required time in civil service, Mrs. Dunlow left her position with STRATCOM in September 2012 in order to spend time at home with their two children who are now 6 and 4. Currently, Mrs. Dunlow spends days at home with their youngest daughter and works part-time at the orthodontic office as an office manager. Only time will tell what Mrs. Dunlow will do once their youngest daughter is in school full-time, maybe she will utilize her Master's degree, or perhaps she will strike out a new career after using the remaining two years of her GI bill to complete another degree. Mr. Speaker it is with great pleasure that I recognize Mrs. Melissa Dunlow for her 25 years of military service. What a truly inspiring career she has had and will continue to have. Her hard work and tenacity are commendable. Mrs. Dunlow represents a real American hero through her commitment and solidarity to her brothers and sisters in arms.



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