Rapp Resolution Honoring Sgt. VanGiesen’s Ultimate Sacrifice Receives Unanimous House Approval
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted a condolence resolution on Tuesday, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean), in honor of Pennsylvania Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Kenneth VanGiesen,.

“Neither words nor countless medals can adequately account for the deep sorrow those who knew and love Sergeant VanGiesen must consistently endure due to his loss,” said Rapp during her official House floor remarks in support of House Resolution 439. “I wish his family and loved ones the comfort of knowing that his sacrifices will never be forgotten. Ken was a true hero and we will forever be in his debt.”

Rapp’s complete floor remarks can be viewed at RepRapp.com.

A 1999 graduate of Kane Area High School, VanGiesen died in the Ghanzi province of Afghanistan on July 20, 2011, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his convoy with an improvised explosive device.

Serving on his fourth active tour of overseas duty during his 12th consecutive year of service as a heavy-vehicle driver, light-wheeled mechanic and armament repairman, VanGiesen was assigned to the 131st Transportation Company, 213th Area Support Group from Williamstown, Pennsylvania. He previously served his country in Germany and twice in Iraq—logging a total of 1,400 mobilized days in overseas deployment.

One of only 16 Pennsylvania National Guardsmen serving at this level of active duty and with great distinction, VanGiesen earned two Army Commendation Medals, two Iraq Campaign Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, two Navy Unit Commendations and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

He is survived by his high school sweetheart Erin Sirianni, with whom he shared a home; his parents, Susan and Thomas; his sister, Amie; his brother, Matt; and his extended family.

State Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin 
Share |