Linda Rasnake vividly recalls the day when she decided to focus on helping caregivers of wounded warriors.
She’d just delivered her husband – a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army – to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. after suffering a serious setback from a training exercise injury. Exhausted and distraught following a lengthy check-in process, she was directed to a hotel to stay while her husband recuperated, which took her nearly four hours to find.
On that day in 2006, Rasnake resolved to do everything in her power to prevent others from having similar experiences by volunteering and later working for the Family Readiness Group Program at Walter Reed on behalf of those who assist wounded warriors.
Rasnake is one of eight nominees who were honored today (February 14) for supporting military families at a Blue Star Neighbor Awards recognition event hosted at the Starbucks® Military Family Store in Alexandria, Virginia. Three additional recognition events will take place across the country, leading up to a Blue Star Neighbor Celebration on March 22, where a winner will be selected and honored.
A Starbucks and Blue Star Families Alliance
Starbucks has opened 32 Military Family Stores in the U.S. that are run primarily by veterans and military spouses. The stores partner with Veterans Service Organizations, including Blue Star Families, the sponsor of Blue Star Neighbor Awards.
Brandon Perkett, the manager of the Military Family Store where Rasnake and others were recognized, said the Blue Star event aligns with the community the store serves and its special mission.
“It’s an honor to be involved in anything like this,” Perkett said. “Just to be able to give back to the military community and to be a part of a Military Family Store is very exciting.”
"Starbucks has been an extraordinary supporter of the military community and military families,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet, a special guest at the event. “Through their Military Family Stores, Military Mondays and a slew of programs with Blue Star Families and other military support organizations, Starbucks has welcomed and created fellowship for military families and veterans in their workforce and in communities where we live. Blue Star Families is proud to partner with Starbucks and salute them for their dedication and patriotism.”
For her part, Rasnake is thrilled by her nomination, but her motivation comes from daily service for those who make sacrifices to make life better for wounded warriors.
“Caregivers are absolutely a forgotten population,” she said. “They’re very close to my heart. I do for others just because it’s the best feeling ever.”
Discover more stories about how Starbucks is Paying Tribute and Creating Opportunity for people who've served and sacrificed for the country.