Written by: Jeff Revisky I’m employed at Scott Air Force Base and have been working with the military for 34 years, including the time I served in the Army and my current work as a government employee/security manager. My family recently returned from Germany where my son, Kyle, attended school on base, so my family is very familiar with military life, and consequently, very familiar with the Red Cross.
This year on October 3, at 4:55 am my wife and I received the call every parent dreads. It was the chaplain at St. Louis University Hospital advising us to get the hospital as fast as we could because our son Kyle had been in a terrible car accident. Knowing nothing else, we drove to the hospital. They allowed us to see Kyle for a minute before rushing him to surgery. Doctors were trying to stabilize him and determine his injuries. Later, we learned, in darkness and pouring rain, he had totaled his car on the interstate. When Kyle got out of his car, he was struck by an oncoming car going 65-70 mph.
We immediately began contacting family, still not knowing if Kyle would survive. We called our son Justin and told him his brother had been in a car accident. Justin wanted to come home, and we needed him home. The only way we knew to get Justin home was through the Red Cross.
The chaplain gave us the number for the Red Cross; we called and they immediately went to work behind the scenes, doing all the leg work, so we could focus on our son.
In just a few hours, the Red Cross had helped Justin complete everything he needed, and by 1 p.m. the following day, Justin was home. During that time, the Red Cross contacted us several times to make sure everything was progressing as it should. Amazingly, Kyle knew Justin was there; Justin gave Kyle the support that only a brother can give. Although not here long, Justin was home long enough to see his brother come off the life support.
My family is forever grateful to the Red Cross for supporting our family though this tragedy, but we know the Red Cross is always there for the military families– all over the world, providing support 24/7. We can never repay them for what they have done for us, so on behalf of our family and our soldier, Justin, THANK YOU! Thank you for your dedication to our military and their families. You will forever hold a place in our hearts and your act of kindness will never be forgotten.
Written By: Kari Ross, Communications Volunteer
Wilma has been a Red Cross volunteer for Scott AFB for 17 years. There have been a lot of changes in those 17 years, however, her 3 day a week volunteer service to this community is not one of them. I asked her how she became affiliated with the organization and she simply said, “I went to an Officers Club Spouse event one day and the Red Cross had a booth. I signed a volunteer paper, handed it back to them and I have been a volunteer ever since.” There is much more to Wilma’s story and it all centers around service.
As a retired Airman herself, she spent 20 years as a Communications Officer before retiring in 1994. She is a veteran of the Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm. Though she was a Communications Officer in the Air Force, she said she learned many of her computer skills from being a volunteer with the Red Cross. It is just one of the benefits of being a volunteer that Wilma says she acquired. She boasts, “I like that sometimes I know more about computers than my kids.”
Volunteering is important to Wilma and she stated she would love to see more involvement from the Scott community. Stating, “I’m not sure people know about all of the individual things the Red Cross does.” To that she said she is willing to answer questions for those who are considering volunteering but just may not know how to get through the process or what is available. She understands that some things still need that personal touch and that the application process can be confusing. She said the technology and applications are wonderful, though, and it is all worth it in the end.
Giving back to the community is important for Wilma and in recognition of the dedication and commitment she has shown she was awarded with the Clara Barton Award in 2011. This is the highest award that can be given to a Red Cross volunteer as it recognizes their meritorious service. She said, “Volunteering makes me feel good and as with anything, you don’t have to be good when you start, you just have to persevere.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Red Cross go to www.redcross.org/stl and check out the Scott AFB Red Cross’s Facebook Page. The Scott AFB Red Cross is located at: 411 POW / MIA St Bldg 21 Scott Air Force Base, Illinois 62225 and the telephone number is at 618.256.3292