VoteVets Endorses Amy McGrath for US Senate in Kentucky

Lexington, KY – VoteVets PAC, representing over 600,000 veterans, military family members, and civilian supporters, is today endorsing Amy McGrath for US Senate.

“Amy is the real deal,” said Dan Helmer, Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran and Vice Chair of VoteVets. “We need Amy in the Senate, as veterans, because Mitch McConnell just is never there for us.  He’s not there for working veterans, he wasn’t there for veterans who needed updated education benefits, and he’s not there for veterans who need a VA that’s funded, not privatized. Amy McGrath hasn’t forgotten where she came from, and she’s not going to turn her back on those who need her the most.  Quite the opposite – she’s going to fight for us, because that’s what she does best.”

When Amy was 13-years old, she dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot, but women were not yet allowed to serve in combat roles in our military. She wrote to members of Congress, and published letters to the editor in her hometown newspapers advocating for change to remove the restriction on women.

During her senior year at Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills, Ky., the combat exclusion law was lifted, and McGrath was accepted into the United States Naval Academy as part of the Class of 1997.  

Shortly after 9/11, McGrath, call sign “Krusty,” deployed to Kyrgyzstan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) where she flew combat missions in Afghanistan. In 2003, she completed her second combat tour with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121 “Green Knights” in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). 

That same year, she was certified as an Air Combat Tactics Instructor.

From 2005-2006, McGrath transitioned to become an F/A-18 pilot. In her second tour with Green Knights, she completed a deployment to East Asia.  

In 2009, McGrath married United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Erik Henderson, of Hagerstown, Maryland, and shortly thereafter, they were both deployed to Afghanistan – Erik to Kabul, and Amy to Helmand Province with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. 

While operational, she flew approximately 2,000 flight hours (350 combat flight hours) and flew 89 combat missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq, bombing Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. She has also flown in multiple exercises in the United States, Egypt, Australia, Korea and Japan.

In 2011, McGrath was assigned to Washington, D.C. as Marine Corps Congressional Fellow, serving as defense and foreign affairs policy adviser to Rep. Susan Davis, of San Diego. Following her time on Capitol Hill, she served in the Pentagon as the Marine Corps’ liaison to other federal government agencies, such as the Department of State and USAID.

In 2014, having reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, she was assigned to the faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy where she served as a senior political science instructor until her 20-year retirement from the Marines Corps on June 1, 2017.