The American Red Cross, Heart of Tennessee Chapter is pivoting the normal in-person Heroes Breakfast to a virtual event. While this year’s event will look different it continues
to be an opportunity for the chapter to celebrate the work of volunteers, and honor the 2021 Hero, Tennessee’s 76th Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey H. Holmes.
The online event will also highlight the work of the Red Cross and local businesses and community leaders who support the Red Cross services and programs that provide humanitarian and emergency aid to the community when disaster strikes.
The National Guard tank platoon leader, then Lieutenant Holmes, was deployed in the Mississippi woods 30 years ago when he received an emergency message from the American Red Cross. A helicopter flew him to the headquarters where an American Red Cross representative said his wife, Rhonda, was in labor with their second child.
“Rhonda has a standing habit of having kids one month early,” Holmes chuckled. The Red Cross arranged for him to quickly fly home to Tennessee where he was there to greet his daughter, Leah on her birthday. “It was really a great memory. It would not have occurred without the Red Cross.”
Today, the veteran commands the Tennessee National Guard and still depends on the Red Cross to support he and his soldiers throughout their careers. “I have great respect for the Red Cross,” Holmes said, describing the Red Cross as dependable and comforting.
“That’s one reason why Gen. Holmes is being honored with our annual Heroes Award,” said Heart of Tennessee chapter executive director Tara Stone.
“He has not only commanded ground forces in combat, but also led military disaster response efforts across the United States, including the recent tornadoes we experienced here in Middle Tennessee and Putnam County,” Stone added.
“The Red Cross was founded during times of war and ‘Serves Those Who Serve,’” she said. “The Heart of Tennessee Chapter, and our previous Hero Honorees, look forward to honoring Holmes and share the connection of The American Red Cross and our Armed Forces.”
Holmes, who lives with his family in Lascassas, began his military career as an armor crewman at Fort Knox, Kentucky. His drill sergeant volunteered the soldiers, who had been banned from sugar for two months, to give blood. The soldiers were excited because the Red Cross volunteers gave them cake after they donated blood. He continued giving blood in support of a colleague who was a multi-gallon donor at the Red Cross in Nashville.
He has been serving his country for 40 years while running and owning successful architecture businesses.
Heart of Tennessee thanks Ole South Properties, and Video Story Productions as presenting sponsors.
For more information on the event, or how to become a sponsor, contact Tara Stone at [email protected]