Retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Heber Alonzo Meraz reflects on his American Red Cross Lifesaving Award and other achievements.
Project coordinator, senior analyst, and retired United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Heber Alonzo Meraz looks back on his American Red Cross Lifesaving Award and other achievements, and reveals more about his keen community spirit, neighborhood safety events, and work with the Toys for Tots program.
American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards are issued annually from the American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C. All nominees for the organization’s national awards are also entered into the pool of nominations for their local chapter’s annual American Red Cross Heroes event, such as the so-called ‘Breakfast of Champions.’
Heber Alonzo Meraz received his own American Red Cross Lifesaving Award in 2010 for saving the life of an individual who was choking. For saving the life of the woman, a resident of Fairfield, Connecticut, he also received a State of Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation.
“I’m immensely proud,” Meraz reveals, “of both my American Red Cross Lifesaving Award and the subsequent State of Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation.”
A retired United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, Meraz became a member of the U.S. Armed Forces in 1994 and went on to complete 20 years active duty service. Today a project coordinator and senior analyst with Sikorsky Aircraft in Shelton, Connecticut, Meraz also boasts a keen community spirit, regularly hosting local events in and around both Shelton and nearby Trumbull where he currently lives.
“One event which I host every year now is our annual neighborhood safety event, here in Trumbull, which is focused on teaching children in the community about cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR, as well as fire safety and prevention, and how to recognize choking hazards,” the retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant explains.
Raised between El Paso, Texas, and Dodge City, Kansas, Heber Alonzo Meraz is also a keen marathon runner and is heavily involved with Toys for Tots, for which he served as project coordinator for three years in 2010, 2011, and 2012. “Toys for Tots is an incredible program,” he adds, “run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents are unable to afford to buy them gifts at Christmastime.”
The mission of the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program, founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks, is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, before distributing those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity located in Triangle, Virginia, which serves to fund, raise funds for, and support the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. For more information, head to https://www.toysfortots.org/.
To learn more about the American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards, meanwhile, please visit https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/lifesaving.