In honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to share the story of one of our very own staff members from the American Red Cross Nevada Region. Kirstin, who is the Fund Development Manager for the Nevada Region, and her husband, Drew, met in Okinawa, Japan while serving in the 44th Fighter Squadron of the United States Air Force. She was an intelligence officer and he was a pilot. They ended up getting married in Hawaii and are now raising a son. On May 29, Kirstin and Drew will celebrate their three year anniversary.
Kirstin and Drew share the bond of serving our great nation, but they also have ties to the special work done through the American Red Cross. For example, when Drew’s father unexpectedly passed away, the Red Cross provided the airfare for Drew to fly from Japan back to Illinois. “Still, I am surprised and thankful for the gift from the Red Cross,” said Drew. “They cared about someone they didn’t even know.”
Kirstin’s memories of the American Red Cross start with her father who also served in the military and later became a firefighter in Michigan where he worked for 30 years. “He told me stories of how the Red Cross would be there in blizzard conditions while he and his team were putting out fires,” Kirstin recalls. “They would bring his team coffee, donuts and hot chocolate.”
The Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program of the American Red Cross provides assistance to the men and women serving in the United States military as well as their families. Services include financial assistance, referral services, reconnection workshops and getting soldiers in touch with their families back home when an emergency comes up.
Kirstin wanted to get involved with SAF after leaving the Air Force. “The Red Cross has been very supportive of our military family situation, especially when Drew deployed for a year right after our son was born,” Kirstin said. She is now a Red Cross liaison at monthly family dinners of deployed soldiers.
This Valentine’s Day, find out more about the Services to the Armed Forces provided by the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/nv/las-vegas/service-to-armed-forces.