Leading up to Veterans Day, we’re sharing stories of U.S. military veterans who continue their legacy of service with the American Red Cross. These veterans have made an impact on and off the battlefield and continue to do so through our mission today.
Meet Nastassia Dahl, a Red Cross senior analyst in supply management. Before her career at the Red Cross, Nastassia served as an active-duty Marine. Stationed at the Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion in San Antonio, Texas, she worked as a Spanish cryptologic linguist and intelligence analyst. Her seven-year Marine career included deployments to Central America as an aircrew member with the U.S. Special Operations Command and a tour as a drill Instructor stationed at Parris Island, South Carolina.
For Nastassia, working for the Red Cross has provided limitless opportunities to serve her country and her community. She’s found belonging with others who value the mission as much as she does. Hear her perspective on how her journey has led her to serve others in a unique way today.
Nastassia’s Story: Red Cross Experience Inspires Military Service
“I will never forget the moment I first considered the military. I was volunteering in a shelter with the Red Cross, following Hurricane Katrina. One of our volunteers was a Vietnam-era Marine, and he had the most incredible leadership skills I had ever seen. His complete confidence in his ability to oversee people and operations under such stressful conditions was inspiring and I knew that my ability to help others would be vastly improved if I could learn those skills myself.
One year later, I was saying my goodbyes to my family as I set off on a path that would dramatically change my entire life. Over the course of my military career, I was determined to test the limits of my abilities at every opportunity — especially if someone told me I couldn’t do it. That attitude landed me a spot in the Martial Arts Instructor Course at Camp Geiger and a couple of other schools, which were designed to push people to their mental and physical breaking points. I loved every minute of it.
Transitioning to civilian life was incredibly difficult for me, and many of my peers. I realized that I needed to rediscover my purpose and identity before I could move forward with my life, so I reconnected with the organization which had given me that little push in the first place; the American Red Cross. Here, I have limitless opportunities to serve my country and my community, and I always feel a sense of belonging with others who value our mission as much as I do.
Working in such a military-friendly environment has been helpful for me, especially because I often feel out of place as a woman veteran in other organizations. While I always feel accepted here, patience and open communication have been crucial in understanding where to apply my military principles, and when to let them go and open myself to other ideas and methods of accomplishing tasks. I know that we have historically and continue to value inclusivity for everyone and am excited to see us maximize our potential as we continue to set those goals.
Today, I am a senior analyst in supply management, and I was formerly in Real Estate Services for five years. I also worked as a disaster program manager in Midland, Texas, and was an intern with our Service to Armed Forces Division, doing tracing services. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to see the Red Cross from different vantage points, and it helps me see the human element of every decision we make. My experience with Red Cross volunteers and employees has been humbling, uplifting, and awe-inspiring. I’m grateful for my colleagues and the work we do together.”
Keep following as we share more stories of military veterans who serve after their service through the Red Cross.