Jeannette Salcedo was only 10 years old when the chaplain showed up at her home to bring her family life-changing news — her father would not be coming home from Vietnam.
“I can still see my mother throwing herself against the wall and the children crying in the background,” said Jeannette, Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces manager at Fort Bragg.
She said she realizes the sacrifice her father made for her country, but she also notes the resiliency of her family during his service. “It’s hard growing up in a military family. You’ll never truly understand what it’s like until you are in this situation,” Jeannette said. “It’s hard when a parent dies. It’s just significantly different when they were serving your country.”
This Memorial Day, Jeanette encourages others to reflect on the continual sacrifices military members and their families make.
She encourages those who know an active service member, veteran or military family to simply acknowledge their service. “Sometimes just saying ‘thank you’ goes a long way.”
Jeannette continues to show her appreciation to service members and their families through her work with the Red Cross. Daily, the Red Cross works one-on-one with military members, veterans and their families to provide support in times of need.
For more information how the Red Cross serves the military community, visit redcross.org/military.
PHOTOS: Above – Jeannette Salcedo (back row, third from left) with her siblings and mother after a memorial service for her father. Bottom – Jeannette Salcedo’s father, Sgt. Glenn Nicholson.
Story by: Andrea Gulley/American Red Cross