Pingree Honors 2022 Pat Tillman Award Winner in Congress
Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans of Brunswick is one of the most decorated female veterans in American history serving in the United States Army for 27 years
Washington, August 5, 2022
Tags: Veterans Issues
Last week, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) honored Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Gretchen Evans of Brunswick, Maine by recognizing her in the official Congressional Record. CSM Evans, who is one of the most decorated female veterans in American history serving in the United States Army for 27 years, was this year’s Pat Tillman Award for Service recipient.
“I thank Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans, for her selfless acts of duty to keep this Nation safe,” Pingree wrote in the Congressional Record Statement. “The people of Maine are incredibly lucky to have her as an advocate, a leader, and a community member.”
Full text of the Congressional Record Statement is available online and is copied below.
Madam Speaker, today, I rise to recognize a courageous veteran, a resilient leader, and a selfless Mainer. Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans of Brunswick, Maine is one of the most decorated female veterans in American history serving in the United States Army for 27 years. Since enlisting at age 19, CSM Evans has served in tours of Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where she responsible for more than 30,000 ground troops. Ms. Evans’ honorable dedication to defending our country earned her the position of Command Sergeant Major, the highest noncommissioned officer rank in the military.
In 2006, Command Sergeant Major Evans survived a barrage of mortar fire in Afghanistan which rendered her deaf and wounded. After her combat injury, she quickly found renewed vitality by learning to lip read, forging relationships with her ‘‘hearing dogs,’’ Aura and Rusty, and by proactively reaching out to fellow veterans with similar lived experience.
Today, in Maine, CSM Evans continues to give back as an active fundraiser and ambassador for local nonprofits which provide sup- port services to disabled veterans and which seek to prevent veteran-experienced social isolation and depression. Additionally, CSM Evans is a distinguished public speaker who advocates for the importance of leadership, perseverance, and teamwork, as a part of ‘‘Women Veterans Speak,’’ a national speaker’s bureau.
When she is not inspiring others to serve, CSM Evans pursues her passion for extreme sports, running 40 marathons. CSM Evans also led UNBROKEN, the first all-mixed abilities team to complete in ‘‘The World’s Toughest Race,’’ a 670-kilometer, week-long endurance race held in Fiji. This achievement recently earned her the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2022 ESPYs, which honors individuals with both strong connections to sports and community leadership. This fall, CSM Evans will also be inducted into the U.S. Veteran’s Hall of Fame in recognition for her outstanding meritorious service to our country.
I thank Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans, for her selfless acts of duty to keep this Nation safe. The people of Maine are incredibly lucky to have her as an advocate, a leader, and a community member. I wish CSM Evans the very best and I look forward to seeing her continue to thrive.