Married to: Gustaf “Gus” E. Anderson IV
Current location: JB Lewis-McChord
Years as a military spouse: 10
For Krista Simpson Anderson, the compassion and help that the military community and nonprofits gave to her family, drives her to give back to others. In 2013, her husband Staff Sgt. Michael H. Simpson, a Special Forces Green Beret, was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan.
“I want to help the community that stood up and supported our family in our darkest hour,” says Krista.
Today, Krista travels to share her family’s story as a speaker to help raise money for Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.
Krista also founded The Unquiet Professional, an organization committed to recognizing and honoring our nation’s Gold Star families and veterans by providing rewarding and purposeful opportunities. Krista says it is a great honor to be someone other families feel they can confide in and trust with their pain.
She is also very thankful to have found someone who did not make her choose between loving Mike and finding love again. A mother of two boys, Krista married her husband Gus in March 2017. Krista describes Gus, who served on her late husband’s Special Forces team, as extraordinary and an incredible dad.
“He will get down on the floor and play bears with the boys, pretend to hunt for moose in our postage stamp backyard or have a lightsaber fight.”
For a time, Krista struggled with the complexities of her life as a Gold Star Spouse and the prospect of marrying Gus, but she has now found a balance that includes giving back to other military families.
“I am proud to be a military spouse because we, as a family, are a part of something bigger than ourselves. Just by our actions we instill service and sacrifice for others in our children,” says Krista, who also serves as the Gold Star Liaison for the Green Beret Foundation for Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), as an advisory board member for both the Gold Star Sailing Program and for Raise for Rowyn, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance and emotional support to families struggling with the loss of a child.
Three tips Krista would give to a new military spouse?
- Find strength in your faith and community by connecting with uplifting, encouraging and positive spouses.
- Stay focused on the big picture by knowing your role as a military spouse is a great service to this nation.
- And let yourself breathe by asking for help; something she views as a strength, not a weakness.
“Winning Branch Spouse of the Year has allowed me to reflect on our community as a whole and recognize how incredible the spouses truly are,” says Krista. “It has increased my passion for serving the military community.”
What she hopes to do with the award?
“I hope by simply telling my story I can provide some hope and light for others. I am taking advantage of the platform to spread awareness of the organizations I support with the hope of helping more people. ‘There is nothing more beautiful than a community coming together and choosing you,’ is a powerful quote to which I add, ‘thank you for choosing me.'”
Krista has played piano for 15 years by ear and can’t read a note to save her life. “I desperately wish I could read music,” Krista says. “Playing the piano was so calming to me growing up.”
Krista likes to fish with her stepfather. “He lets me filet the fish after and swears I can pull 10 lbs of meat from a 5 lb fish!”
“Congratulations Krista, and welcome to the MSOY tribe! Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire! This year will be what you make of it, so I encourage you to create a vision, set priorities and be present in every moment. ” –Cassaundra Martinez, 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Army Spouse of the Year