COLUMBUS—State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) recently led the Ohio House of Representatives in recognizing Retired Army Captain Holly Koester, which included three standing ovations. Capt. Koester was being honored with a House Resolution for her seven gold medal wins in the 2016 National Veteran Wheelchair Games.

“I cannot thank Representative Anielski and the 132nd Ohio General Assembly enough for honoring and recognizing my achievements today.  I’ve been blessed by God for giving me a country that allows me to set goals and an opportunity to reach them no matter how high,” said Captain Koester. “Thank you to the Speaker of the House, Honorable Cliff Rosenberger, for the challenge coin that says it all:  ‘With God all things are possible.’ I could not have achieved any of this without the support of my family and friends, who made this day even more special by being here to share this day with me.”

Captain Koester, who was injured during Operation Desert Storm, has a long list of personal and athletic accomplishments. In addition to her numerous wins in the National Veteran Wheelchair Games, Capt. Koester is the first person, male or female, to complete a marathon by wheelchair in all 50 states.

“Holly’s motto is ‘No obstacle is too big,’ and through that motto she has demonstrated a way of life that we could all stand to learn from. Holly is a hero and I’m overjoyed that she could make it to the State House to be honored by the entire House of Representatives,” said Rep. Anielski. “I was honored to surprise the extremely humbled Captain Holly Koester in front of my colleagues and her family and friends for not only her seven National Gold Medals, but as a true American patriot in her years of service to our country.”

Captain Koester is to be honored with the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Speedy Award this spring in Washington D.C. It is the highest honor that the PVA bestows to members and non-members in recognition of the significant contributions made to improving the lives of America’s paralyzed veterans. At the awards ceremony, Captain Koester will be the first female presented with the award and she will be receiving it along with Senator Bob Dole. 


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