Watch the live announcement below!
Married to: Gustaf “Gus” E. Anderson IV
Current duty station: Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM)
Years as a military spouse: 10
“My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever was.” Sheila Walsh
For Krista Simpson Anderson, Army spouse and the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, it was the loss of her husband that led her on a new journey to help others. Krista’s husband, Staff Sgt. Michael H. Simpson, a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2013. Soon after, Krista decided to not only volunteer within the network of nonprofits that helps those who experience loss in our military community but also form her own nonprofit.
Krista is the founder of The Unquiet Professional, an organization committed to recognizing and honoring our nation’s Gold Star families and veterans by providing rewarding and purposeful opportunities. She also travels to share her family’s story as a speaker to raise money for Folds of Honor. In her new MSOY role, Krista will continue her nonprofit work and spread awareness of the organizations that help our nation’s military families. Now married to her husband Gus, who also serves in U.S. Army Special Forces, Krista supports the community that helped her family during their darkest hour.
After her husband was killed while serving, Krista wondered how she could ever repay the people who had done so much for her family in the days, weeks, and months that followed the notification.
“Our community rallies in a moments notice when someone is in need,” Krista says. “I didn’t know how strong a bond could be with those, in some cases, you barely know.”
From a USO representative carrying her children’s car seats through the airport, to the soldiers and nonprofits that reached out to her, the list of helpers was long. Now Krista is a part of that safety net that helps military families after they experience the loss of their service member.
A volunteer in the community
Krista is the Gold Star Liaison for the Green Beret Foundation for JBLM, an advisory board member for the Gold Star Sailing Program and Raise for Rowan, along with being a volunteer in her children’s school and her family’s parish. As a speaker for Folds of Honor, Krista has the chance to connect her story with those who may have never met a service member before or the family of a fallen service member. “It’s an opportunity for me to thank the donors and allow them to connect to a real person,” Krista says. “I tell our story to keep Mike’s legacy moving forward. And it’s such a blessing to be able to individually thank the communities that support the organization.”
How Krista would describe herself in a tweet: I am a Christian, a wife, and a mother of two amazing boys. I have many faults and make many mistakes but always try and learn from them.
Her family today
In January 2017, Gus asked Krista to marry him. He was due to deploy in April of that year, so they had to rush to complete their marriage packet for the Military Archdiocese. “On March 7 we had our paperwork complete and sent it in, got the ‘go ahead’ from the Military Archdiocese, sent out an evite on March 8 to our friends and family on the East Coast, planned the wedding and married March 13. One hundred and ten people showed up!” Krista says.
I am a believer in life, love and happiness.
I believe that every act of kindness does and can change the world.
I choose to give my life to something bigger in serving others and I pray I can make a difference.
What Krista has to say about The Unquiet Professional:
“Our organization encourages healthy and empowering experiences to heal the wounds brought on by war. Losing a family member, a friend, a battle buddy, are all traumatic experiences. Survivors guilt, PTSD, transitioning from the military with fear of losing your identity, it is all real. We want to help. I want to help the community that stood up and supported our family in our darkest hour.”
What makes Krista proud to be a military spouse?
“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.”
Congratulations, Krista! We can’t wait to see what you do as the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year!
Watch the live announcement here