MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — In honor of the life and service of 28-year-old fallen soldier Army Captain Andrew Michael Pederson-Keel a stretch of Route 79 in Madison will soon be named after him. Captain Pedersen-Keel’s parents are Madison residents. He was killed in Afghanistan on the morning of March 11, 2013. The stretch of road will be known as the Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel Memorial Highway.
Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford) and Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-Madison) introduced and led passage of legislation that renames the section of road. “We can never forget the sacrifices that heroes like Captain Pedersen-Keel have made to preserve our way of life,” said Senator Kennedy. “Renaming this road is a small token of our immense gratitude to Andrew and his family for their service to this country. I thank Andrew’s parents for their tireless advocacy in support of their son’s memory, and look forward to joining them soon when we formally dedicate the Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel Memorial Highway in Madison.
“Captain Andrew Michael Pedersen-Keel gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I hope that each of us takes a moment to remember Captain Pedersen-Keel when driving by this road dedicated in his honor. When I had the opportunity to testify in front of the legislature’s Transportation Committee with Andrew’s parents, it was obvious that everyone was moved by his inspiring story. Without the service and sacrifice of men and women like Andrew, the freedoms that we enjoy would not be possible. It is only fitting that we honor his memory so that his legacy continues,” said State Representative Noreen Kokoruda. “Andrew’s parents have become an integral part of our community and have accomplished great things for veterans. This dedication is a small token we can use to remember Andrew’s great sacrifice and memorialize his life.”
Captain Andrew Michael Pedersen-Keel grew up in Wallingford and Collinsville, CT, and moved with his parents to Madison in 2003. Andrew earned a Bachelor of Science degree in American Legal Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 2006. In 2008, Andrew was deployed as a Platoon leader in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, where he led his platoon in over 150 combat foot patrols and three air assault operations. Following this deployment, Andrew continued his service at Fort Hood, TX and Fort Knox, KY.
Captain Pedersen-Keel studied the Pashto language and earned his Green Beret on June 28, 2012. Following this, he was redeployed in Afghanistan as a Commander in the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. Captain Pedersen-Keel’s awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, two Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the NATO Medal, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Parachutist Badge. Posthumously, Andrew received a third Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Captain Pedersen-Keel’s parents founded “APK Charities” in memory of their son.