WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner submitted the following statement to the congressional record in recognition of Dr. Kenneth K. Lee, a combat-injured Operation Iraqi Freedom and Army veteran. Lee, a native of Brookfield, WI, was named the 2017 Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Full text provided below:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Dr. Kenneth K. Lee, a combat-injured Operation Iraqi Freedom and Army veteran, who has been named by Disabled American Veterans (DAV) as its 2017 Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year.
Dr. Lee, who deployed as the commander of the Army's Company B, 118th Area Support Medical Battalion, was injured in November 2004 by a suicide car bomber in Iraq. The explosion resulted in an open head traumatic brain injury and severe shrapnel wounds to his legs, leading to his evacuation back to the states, where he would later be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
While recovering from his injuries, Dr. Lee, a rehabilitation specialist, saw how long and difficult recovery could be, often leaving lasting changes. Dr. Lee, who resides in Brookfield, Wisconsin, is a volunteer physician at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, which the Department of Veterans Affairs and DAV co-host, so he was no stranger to using adaptive sports as therapy.
Through his own recovery, Dr. Lee propelled himself into the world of adaptive sports to help him deal with the psychological and physiological effects that can often times cause an individual to hit bottom.
Within a year of Dr. Lee's retirement in 2013, he formed the Milwaukee Wheelchair Lacrosse team and is now the president of the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association, which runs numerous adaptive sports programs.
On July 29, 2017, DAV National Commander David W. Riley presented Dr. Lee with the Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year award at the organization's 96th National Convention. In his statement, Riley praised Dr. Lee as a shining example of everything that is good about our nation and its veterans. He noted that the compassion Dr. Lee shows for other veterans and his work to help them find success is truly the hallmark of the award, and DAV is very proud of what he's doing for this community. Given the importance and therapeutic effectiveness of adaptive sports, it is vital to have experienced leaders like Dr. Lee involved and carving out a path forward.
Despite his injuries and the constant pain in his lower extremities, Dr. Lee speaks with gratitude about his time in the Army. He will tell you that he got a lot more from the Guard than he put into it, and that he joined the military with his eyes wide open and has no regrets.
Dr. Lee and his wife Kate currently live in Brookfield with their two children. In 2014, his daughter Leah earned a $10,000 scholarship by volunteering for the DAV at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. On the same day that Dr. Lee was honored as DAV's Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year, his son Jonathan earned the charity's largest scholarship of $20,000, and was honored the same morning. They both hope ultimately to serve veterans as physicians through the VA.
You can view the statement online here.