It was nearing the end of half-time at the Harlem Globetrotters game when a family of six quietly made their way onto center court. The mother held their two-month-old in a baby carrier, while a man in a Red Cross vest escorted the father, Major Jeremy Haynes, in a wheelchair, his three young boys with matching V-neck sweaters in tow.
As Koby Langley, Army veteran and senior vice president of the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces Division prepared to address the masses gathered at the Verizon Center arena, the Harlem Globetrotters joined the Haynes family on court. “For more than 135 years, the American Red Cross has provided comfort and care to the brave members of the United States military, veterans and their families,” said Langley, explaining how the organization’s commitment includes supporting servicemen and women during their rehabilitation at military and veteran medical facilities. “Brave men such as Jeremy Haynes,” said Langley, nodding respectfully at the father.
On August 5, 2014, Major Haynes sustained four gunshot wounds while serving in Afghanistan that fractured his spinal cord, severed his vena cava, fractured his tibia and fibula, and hit his shoulder and hip. He was evacuated to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he got to know the Red Cross during his rehabilitation.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our nation,” shared the Army veteran, “and be a part of the American Red Cross family.”
Throughout his recovery, Major Haynes has triumphed over depression and debilitating pain; he credits his ever-supportive wife Chelsea for truly saving his life. “Jeremy continues to be an outstanding and strong example to his family and fellow soldiers,” added Langley.
The stadium erupted into applause as player #12—affectionately nicknamed Ant—presented Major Haynes with a personalized Harlem Globetrotters jersey. The entire team, world renowned Ambassadors of Goodwill, cheered exuberantly as the veteran was honored for his service to our country.
The American Red Cross has teamed up with the Harlem Globetrotters as its official charity partner to support all aspects of the Red Cross mission, including Service to Armed Forces.