Fighting For the Right to Serve

I’d like to share with you the inspiring story of Hannah Cvancara. 

Hannah was named Miss Spokane in 2013. She attended Eastern Washington University where she earned her nursing degree, played sports, and successfully completed the Navy SEAL Fitness Challenge. Today, she is an orthopedic nurse serving patients in need of trauma, post-anesthesia, and critical care. And she’s done it all on one leg after a birth defect resulted in amputation.

As you can see, nothing has ever stopped Hannah from achieving success in life. Until now. Despite her ceaseless strength in the face of adversity and ability to pass the military’s fitness tests, Hannah’s dream to follow in her father’s footsteps and serve in the United States Navy was denied because of her non-service-connected disability. 

In November 2021, I asked the Secretary of the Navy to give Hannah’s medical exemption request full and fair consideration. I also urged the Secretary of Defense to update the code preventing Hannah from serving her country. Both requests were inexplicably denied, but we aren’t giving up. 

This week, with Hannah’s help, I introduced the Hannah Cvancara Service Act to finally change this policy, break down the final barrier standing in her way, and empower individuals just like her to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

We are blessed to live in a country with people like Hannah willing to put service before self. We should be making it easier – not more difficult – for them to serve. She, and all the others like her, are living proof that no one is defined by their circumstances, and our nation’s military would be lucky to have them. I look forward to doing everything I can in the People’s House to get this bill signed into law so Hanna can finally achieve her dream.

CLICK HERE to read the bill.

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