U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The U.S. Airforce Academy is mourning the loss of 23-year-old Staff Sgt. Kaitlyn Denardo of Slidell, who died in a car crash over the weekend.

Denardo was driving on I-25 when her vehicle went off the road near the Interquest exit, the U.S. Air force Academy said.

“The Academy is heartbroken and in shock with the tragic loss of one of our own,” said Col.
Christopher Leonard, 10th Air Base Wing commander.

“Our thoughts are with Sergeant Denardo’s family and team members during this incredibly difficult time.”

Denardo served in the 10th Surgical Operations Squadron, 10th Medical Group as the non-commissioned officer in charge of Surgical Supply since July 16 following assignment from Travis AFB, California.

She joined the Air Force in July 2017 and was promoted to staff sergeant on July 1.

Her decorations include the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign
Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, U.S. Air
Force Professional Military Education Ribbon, and the Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon.

“Kaitlyn Denardo was like gravity to people and she had a fire to her that people responded to.
She was a bright Airman with a great reputation and a huge personality that everyone loved,” said
Master Sgt. Joshua Wells, Airman Leadership School commandant, Travis AFB, California.

“We were proud to name her the Distinguished Graduate of her Airman Leadership School Class in November 2020. That is a peer award, and its selection says alot about an Airman.”