Monday, November 14, 2016

Letter from Heart of Tennessee Executive Director, Mike Cowles - November 2016


It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us!  Just last week I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and this week I am wearing jeans and jackets.  I don’t know about you, but my family is busy heading in different directions every day- school, soccer, jobs and committees that my wife and I are on - it is a busy world.  Carrie (my wife) called me yesterday and asked if I had time to eat lunch, just she and I (I about fell out of my chair), this was a rare occasion and I absolutely took her up on the offer.  I met her at a restaurant near our office where we saw some friends of ours as well.  What was supposed to be a quiet lunch soon turned into visiting with folks.

Once we were seated, our waitress came up to take our drink order and was one of the friendliest people I've met.  She had a great attitude, recommended the special and did it all with a smile.  She came back and took our order and was very friendly throughout our meal.  When we got ready to pay our bill, my wife decided to strike up a conversation which led to the waitress sharing her life’s story.

As it turns out, she had served in the Army for 4 years and had 2 children and 2 step children.   Her husband had passed away and she was now a single mother.  She began to tell us about her fianc√© who has 4 children and is currently in the Army at Fort Campbell and how he has struggled with PTSD and is in a tough financial struggle.  She told her story with a smile and said she is the luckiest person alive.

I tell you this story to remind us all that when we have a tough situation, there is likely always someone else less fortunate.  The one thing that came to mind was “how can we help this young lady”? I gave her my business card and talked to her about our Service to Armed Forces program and that there may be some things we can help her with.  The SAF program has helped so many military families throughout the existence of the Red Cross and I am so proud of what we can do to support those who protect us here and abroad.  I am also very fortunate that my wife decided to strike up a conversation with our waitress.  We need to go to lunch more often!!

As we take time to remember our Veterans on November 11th and throughout the month, please remember Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces and keep us in mind as a resources to family or friends who may need assistance.

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