Every day at the Red Cross, we honor those who served in the armed forces and their families by providing support before, during, and after military deployment.
Today, we offer special thanks to those who have served and those who continue to serve their country through the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois.
Listen to a message from the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois.
Learn about a few veterans who continue to serve through the American Red Cross.
Saving lives, love for family, and call to duty are three life missions for U.S. Army Brigadier General Alicia Tate-Nadeau that forever have tied a piece of her heart to the American Red Cross.
As the top commander at the Office of Emergency Management & Communications (OEMC), Alicia is charged with protecting the lives of more than three million people and property in Chicago. Appointed as OEMC’s Executive Director in June by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alicia, who also represents the city on the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois Board of Directors, brings leadership to these roles from both her personal and military life.
While stationed in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2014 as an Army liaison officer, Alicia was walking near the Mediterranean Sea when she noticed a crowd gathered around a man on the ground. Her instinct was to help. Trained in first aid by the Red Cross, she administered CPR until first responders arrived.
Around the same time, halfway around the world, another heart close to her was ailing. Notified through the Red Cross Hero Care Network, the organization’s Service to the Armed Forces emergency message system, Alicia learned her brother, Ryan, was scheduled to undergo major heart surgery. Doctors were uncertain if Ryan would survive, and she wanted to be there, holding his hand at his bedside.
Two years later, while Ryan still waits for a new heart, Alicia is grateful the Red Cross helped her family – never thinking she would be the one to get that call for request for leave. She advises hundreds of relatives of service members before deployments to save that Red Cross refrigerator phone number magnet as a lifeline to keep families connected in any part of the world.
Joining the region’s Red Cross Board of Directors this year is an extension of her heart to serve the community she loves.
“Everything I’ve done—from working with people, technology, foreign affairs, humanitarian assistance and civil support—has brought me here.” she said. “I’m connected to the mission.”
Howard Goldstein is known among the Chicago Red Cross casework unit as “the closer.”
When volunteers connect with residents after a disaster, like a home fire or flood, the Red Cross immediately starts the navigation process to help families recover. Once those services are identified, Howard steps in to ensure people receive medication replacements, counseling, housing resources, etc.
Howard’s motto is, “Every case that gets opened, has to get closed.”
Howard also serves as the Veteran’s Administration Volunteer Services (VAVS) Red Cross liaison to Chicago area VA hospitals. When he’s not attending yellow ribbon events, you’ll find him at the Hines VA food pantry in Hines, Illinois. He feels at home there, among his comrades, having served a medic in Vietnam field hospitals from 1968-1969 as Specialist 5th Class in the U.S. Army.
Captain Tyra Oliver has devoted her military career and volunteer service to helping others feel better – inside and out.
The U.S. Army veteran serves as a Reservist at the 55th Medical Detachment Combat Operational Stress Control (COSC) unit in Indianapolis, Indiana. While stationed in Kuwait, she ran a behavioral health clinic at Camps Arifjan and Buehring.
Back home, Captain Oliver helps those battling trauma as a member of the Red Cross disaster mental health team in Chicago. She also responds to home fires and helps families cope with loss.
A volunteer since 2014, Captain Oliver also facilitates reconnecting workshops offering emotional support for service members and their families.