#VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Elisa Anne Raney


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Elisa Anne Raney.

Though she had planned to go into the Peace Corps after college, in 1986, Elisa jumped at the chance to become a pilot after a campus recruiter explained that the Navy admitted female flyers. Aviation Officer Candidate School pushed her to her limits, but she endured, telling herself that, barring injury, her instructors couldn’t make her quit.

This attitude of perseverance would serve her well not only in training, but throughout her career as a helicopter pilot during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as serving on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier and as the Deputy Commander of the Defense Contract Management Agency Iraq. She also challenged the expectations of and limitations placed on her as a female Navy pilot; she spent one eight-month deployment as the only woman on detachment with the ship.

Thank you for your service, Elisa!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much of the information as you can put together with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating for how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

Graphic created by Carl J. Valentino: Carl J. Valentino is a student at the University of Delaware with a Major in International Business and a Minor in Graphic Design.


Melissa Heintz

– Melissa Heintz joined the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team as a public affairs specialist in October 2015. She grew up on an Army base in Japan before her family relocated to Hawaii. She holds a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications and Spanish from Seattle University. Melissa has served as a public affairs specialist with Navy Region Hawaii Fleet and Family Readiness and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In December 2015, Melissa commissioned in the Rhode Island Air National Guard where she serves as a public affairs officer with the 143rd Airlift Wing.


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