Recognizing Ms. Joanna Sansoterra, Outstanding Veteran Advocate in the 52nd Congressional District

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 10, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. VARGAS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Ms. Joanna Sansoterra of the D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families in the San Diego Region. As the Program Coordinator of the organization, Ms. Sansoterra has worked tirelessly on the Onward to Opportunity program, which helps veterans, members of the selected reserves, and military spouses transition from military service to civilian life,

Ms. Sansoterra has been instrumental in creating and enhancing the Onward to Opportunity program within San Diego's Navy Region Southwest area, with the goal of also partnering with private sector companies committed to training and hiring military talent and their spouses.

Ms. Sansoterra has dedicated her life to the service of our country. Before her work at the D'Aniello Institute, Ms. Sansoterra served in the U.S. Air Force, both in active duty and as a reservist, and she is now a 33-year veteran.

As a volunteer for her community, Ms. Sansoterra has served on the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce's Defense, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, as well as on the Board of San Diego Pride. She also volunteers for the Foundation for Women Warriors, which helps to honor and empower veteran women.

Ms. Sansoterra has also played a significant role in advancing equality. She was instrumental in pushing for the first military parade in uniform with San Diego Pride, and she was inducted into the San Diego LGBTQ+ Veterans Wall of Honor, recognizing LGBTQ+ veterans.

Ms. Sansoterra lives in the City of Imperial Beach, CA, with her wife, Stefanie, and she recently completed her Masters in Nonprofit Leadership & Management at University of San Diego.

Ms. Sansoterra was honored as the 51st District Constituent of the Month, during National Veterans and Military Families Month in November 2022, for her outstanding commitment to supporting military families and veterans, as well as all her service and efforts that have helped those in need build a brighter future.