SCOTTSDALE (Sept. 9, 2013) – American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter Service to the Armed Forces Manager Noreen Watts was attending a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program in Scottsdale, when Kimberly Rush thanked her for assistance from the Red Cross in getting her husband home.
“I was thrilled to be able to meet a Red Cross manager and personally thank her for what the Red Cross did for our family in 2006,” Rush said, explaining that seven years ago, she was pregnant with her second child while her husband, then an active-duty Air Force captain, was deployed to Iraq.
“I had an uneventful pregnancy until 21 weeks, when it was discovered that our son had a lethal genetic defect, and I would deliver him stillborn,” Rush said. “Obviously, this news was devastating, and my husband needed to be home by my side during this ordeal.”
Rush contacted the Red Cross, and she was connected to its SAF program, which helps military members and their families cope with separation and handles other needs, including verification of emergency situations. “Within 24 hours, my husband was home,” Rush said. “He was able to be at the hospital with me, and we were able to honor our son, Alexander, with a proper burial.”
Rush’s husband, Andrew, is an Air Force reservist attached to a squadron in Pittsburgh. “We are forever grateful for the caring Red Cross individuals who helped make that happen,” Kimberly Rush said. “They were professional, understanding and made us feel like we were important during a time when we were overcome with grief. We believe it was the Red Cross that got him on that plane.”
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. It’s a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Grand Canyon Chapter, established in 1916, re-chartered in 1999 and expanded in 2003, ranks as the fifth-largest chapter nationally, serving the more than 5.1 million people in Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties. For more information on the Grand Canyon Chapter, please visit www.redcross.org/gcc, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcrossgcc or follow us on Twitter under the handle @RedCrossGCC.