2016 W100K Rider
Kelly Rodriguez is from Dunkirk, New York and joined the Army in 1996, shortly after graduating high school. Kelly attended basic and advanced training and became a Combat Medic.
While serving a 12 month tour to Iraq in 2004, Kelly served as an Evacuation Sergeant and was "outside the wire" on convoys 3-4 days a week, often for 8-12 hours per day, and many times even longer. She treated multiple casualties on several occasions always due to IED attacks on her convoys. In Afghanistan in 2006, she and 6 other soldiers fended off an attack by a Taliban force of more than 35 enemy personnel. During this firefight, Kelly earned recognition for treating the wounded during the multi-hour battle.
During her 19 year career, Kelly deployed more than 5 times. On all of her combat tours, she served as a medic on the front lines of combat and while in Afghanistan for 12 months, she and her ten-man team saw approximately 385 surgical patients in 2010. The trauma Kelly witnessed was punctuated by the fact that both her husband and her eldest son were also serving in the army and she was eventually diagnosed with PTSD.
Kelly has found that the combination of intensive counseling, continued service, volunteering with non-profits, and mentoring junior soldiers have helped her effectively address her PTSD. Her husband, Michael, now a retired veteran, has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, multiple traumatic brain injuries, and a myriad of other injuries. After Michael participated in the 2015 W100k, he shared his love of mountain biking with her and they now spend time together riding and reconnecting with one another.
Today, Kelly is still on active duty and resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She and her husband have 3 sons, 1 of whom is presently serving in the Army.