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September 26 • 07:12 AM
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Capitol letters for area veteran


March 11, 2009
MUSSEY TWP. — Checking the mail at his Cade Road home a couple of weeks ago turned out to be a 'capitol' experience for Ronald Kazmierczak.

Awaiting the 47-year-old retired Naval engineman second class was a letter from the White House signed by President Barack Obama.

The president was writing to thank Kazmierczak for his recent correspondence welcoming him to his new office and wishing him luck.

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--- Ronald Kazmierczak --- EN2, USN, Ret.
"Thank you for your recent note, and for sharing your thoughts with me," the presidential note says. "Your kind words echo the messages of millions of Americans who have welcomed me and my family to the White House with an outpouring of goodwill."

That goodwill seemed natural to Kazmierczak, who says he sent President Obama a Christmas card and letter of best wishes. Though he wasn't an Obama supporter initially, Kazmierczak says he eventually found himself in the Obama camp and was glad he was elected.

" I just sent a letter saying 'atta boy, glad you made it,'" Kazmierczak says. "I wanted to give him a warm welcome for being President of the United States."

Once he sent the card, Kazmierczak says he let it go—thinking that he'd done his part to show support for the new regime.

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"When I got a response I was like 'Wow!' They say that if you send something to the White House there's a 99 percent chance you're not going to get a response."

Though this is the first time Kazmierczak has written to a sitting president, Obama's note is not the first correspondence he has received from the Oval Office. in 1996 he received a Certificate of Appreciation for service in the Armed Forces of the United States signed by Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton.

Clinton acknowledged Kazmierczak's commitment to the Navy and his country upon his retirement after 15 years of service.

"I extend to you my personal thanks and the sincere appreciation of our nation for your honorable service," Clinton wrote. "You helped to maintain the security of the United States of America with a devotion to duty that is in keeping with the proud tradition of the Armed Forces."

The note from Obama now joins Clinton's letter of appreciation in a special folder where Kazmierczak keeps his military records. And that's a pretty stiff folder.

While in the Navy, Kazmierczak earned numerous medals and ribbons, including the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two bronze stars; Southwest Asia Service Medal with three bronze stars; Saudi Arabian Liberation of Kuwait with palm tree; Joint Meritorious Unit Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon; and the Navy Enlisted Surface Warfare Pin—among others. He was also commended for professional achievement while serving as a medical team member on USS Mooseruger during Operation 'Urgent Fury' off the coast of Grenada on October 23, 1983. Kazmierczak was instrumental in arranging an emergency treatment center in a helicopter hangar, transporting wounded and administering medical care to the less seriously wounded.

Since retiring from the Navy in 1996, Kazmierczak has since earned certification as a clerical specialist—and he's looking for a job.

"They say if you want to hire the best, hire a vet," he grins.

He's even willing to help out in Washington D.C.

"I'd tell the president that if anyone from Congress or anywhere else needs help, I'm available," Kazmierczak adds.

Castle Creek
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