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Arizona couple’s volunteer efforts help keep their marriage strong

PHOENIX — For Valentine’s Day, one couple is reflecting on how volunteering for the Red Cross has kept their marriage strong.

Glen and Julie Bradley are American Red Cross volunteers who live in Lakeside, Ariz.

“If you can find something that’s outdoors and stimulating and fun and always makes you learn, that’s the trick,” Julie Bradley said. “Do things together, do things that you enjoy.”

The Bradleys were the first American Red Crossers on the ground in the Philippines after the deadly typhoon in December. They are returning to the Philippines this month for a second deployment.

“It was during Katrina where we wanted to do some pay back,” Julie said. “We felt like we’d been extremely fortunate and blessed in our lives.”

The Bradleys are on-call for the American Red Cross Grand Canyon chapter and have assisted in disaster response operations such as earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes nationally and around the world.

They’ve traveled the world building emergency communications and computer networks for disasters from Katrina to the Philippines. The Bradleys said a shared passion for adventure and helping people cope during tragedies is the key.

“Just remembering that you’re only together because you want to be together,” Glenwood said. “And whenever you forget that, then I think maybe things aren’t as good as they could be.”

As for plans for this Valentine’s Day?

“We don’t normally adhere to the normal kinds of …” Julie began.

“Give card go to dinner kind of thing …” Glenwood finished.

“No, no we won’t be doing any of that,” Julie continued.

“Every day is Valentine’s for us,” Glenwood said. “We appreciated each other’s adventure genes from the start,

“We’re so, so lucky to have found each other,” Julie said.

They’ve been sharing adventures for 27 years.

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