The Day of Infamy will always be remembered as the day our country was launched into World War II, but for one Gretna woman it will also be remembered as the day she was launched into volunteering.
Anne Koch has been recognized by the American Red Cross for 60 years of volunteering through various positions within the Omaha chapter.
“It was nice to be able to help people out, and that’s how I started,” she said.
Koch, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, said she volunteered with the Red Cross prior to the 60 year mark when she first heard the news of the Pearl Harbor bombing in December of 1941 while going to then Duchesne College in Omaha.
“They dropped the bombs at Pearl Harbor, and we knew some of the girls’ fiances would be joining the forces,” she said.
Koch said she and her classmates were eager to help these and other young men who would be going off to war when the Red Cross arrived and said they could help by knitting sweaters.
It wasn’t until years later that Koch began officially volunteering when three Gretna women served on the board of the Red Cross in Omaha.
“They needed a driver,” she said with a laugh.
From there, Koch eventually became a board member herself, as well as serving as a secretary and typist.
“I typed every Monday for how long,” she said.
In more recent years, Koch has volunteered her time at Gretna Community Blood drives, serving at the check in desk at Resurrection Lutheran Church.
Koch said April has been a busy month for her, as she served during the April 8 blood drive among other events.
“I celebrated my 90th birthday, I’ll celebrate my 60th year,” she said smiling.
She said she is honored with the recognition, but that volunteering is its own reward.
“There is such a need for it,” she said.