Saturday Spotlight: Kristi Powell

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Chapter: Team RWB Toledo

Member Since:  2014

Motto: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” ~Gandhi

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I was hosting a run challenge every month using the Nike app on my phone. The challenge would be between me and other veterans that I was stationed with and we would all encourage and push each other. I was using this as a way to stay connected while doing something positive that we could all work towards still together although we were all spread out all over the world. One day it was mentioned to me that I should join Team RWB and that I could do the same thing but with more veterans and in my local area! SCORE!! I had never heard of it until I researched it that day and I joined! I remember feeling so excited that there was a group like this and it would help me with building relationships in my community…even better! I received my shirt and bought one for my two kids and we signed up to do our first 5k as Team RWB members. That is where I met for the first time other members of the Toledo Chapter and from there I started going all over Ohio and meeting other Eagles from the other Ohio Chapters and formed wonderful friendships all over the state! I joined for the same reasons a lot of others do…you’re looking for that connection that you had in the military that you’re now missing and you want and need to fill that void. I often wondered if I would find somewhere/something where people would understand me, get my sense of humor and want to do the same things I wanted to do and still have that drive to accomplish the mission…in Team RWB I found exactly that and much more!”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“Wow, how does an Eagle pick just one!?! Every time I do an event with Team RWB, no matter what the event is, the experience is unforgettable and comes with memories that will last a lifetime! Every event that I have done has been a unique and memorable experience in some way or another and that is the truth. At each event, I have made new friends and contacts and that alone makes the experience a great one! Plus I have tried new things that I would of never thought of trying before joining Team RWB (GORUCK For example). If I have to pick one though then I would pick the one that influenced and changed me the most, Team RWB Yoga Camp. This yoga camp influenced my life in ways that I never knew was even possible, especially since I had never even tried yoga before attending this camp. Our instructor, Barry, was a Master Yogi and a veteran himself and he got it, he understood the things that veterans bury deep within themselves, he understood what didn’t need to be said and he definitely understood the benefits of what yoga would and could do if one allowed it! I remember how he talked about yoga and inner peace and it scared me…neither of these things was I wanting to explore nor did I want. Inner peace is a scary thought when you have trained yourself to be mostly robotic with not a lot of emotional feeling attached to anything but he talked to me and he explained to me to just go into that hot room with no expectations and just allow what will be to happen, happen. And so I did, I entered that hot room that day and I completed the 90 min class…and I found that inner peace because I kept going and I kept trying and I kept an open mind…and now afew years later I am still practicing the same yoga that I learned at that camp and now bringing other Eagles to join me so they do can experience that inner peace and all the other wonderful benefits that yoga brings! Team RWB and Barry taught me about myself and now its my turn to pass that on to others!”

How Do You Serve Your Community?

“I serve my community by the different roles that I have in numerous veterans organizations and live by the motto “Veterans Serving Veterans”. I am the Chapter Captain for Team RWB Toledo. I am also the Division 1 Representative, Chaplain, and committee member for the Ohio State Women Veterans Committee. I am a member of Team Rubicon, DAV, AMVETS, American Legion and VFW and like to support them as well in any way that I can. My full time job is I am a Veterans Service Officer. I believe that it is important to let veterans know that they can have dual roles in organizations to further fulfill the mission of helping and serving other veterans.

What Inspires You?

“I find inspiration in numerous things from seeing someone who is willing to try something new outside their comfort zone, someone who has the courage to show up to an event for the first time not knowing anyone because they want to change their life, personal stories of overcoming, seeing someone give it their all, seeing someone helping someone else strive to do better, seeing that smile on someone’s face after achieving their goal, seeing total strangers become the best of friends by working towards the same mission, seeing someone’s progress…Eagles from around the world have inspired me in so many different ways! It’s amazing!!”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“Team RWB has impacted my life significantly by giving me purpose and meaning of the greater good, Gandhi has a saying that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. And by doing just that I have been able to find myself again. It is by rising others up that one can rise as well. I have learned that alone we can do so little but together we can accomplish so much! Team RWB to me is family, friends, motivators, mentors, inspirational, positive…my complete ray of sunshine!”

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“JOIN!! Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can only bring positivity to your life. Those feelings you have, you’re not alone and within Team RWB, you will find leaders and friends who will only want you to succeed and move forward and give you the motivation and tools to do so!! People who will push you and encourage you without judgment or doubt because they believe in you more than you might believe in yourself at the time. When that confidence grows inside you, you can then in turn pay it forward to that next Eagle who might need it…not only are we a TEAM but we are a FAMILY!”