Providing sixteen years of service to her country, Veteran Lisa C. Cross joined the United States Army Reserve in high school, in 1980. She received a Bronze Star Medal in 1991 for Acts of meritorious service in a combat zone. Artistically accomplished, personable and confident, she served as the only soldier with advanced AutoCAD training and SBI clearances during her tour of duty. “During my deployment to Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm, I got along with everybody, enlisted soldiers and officers alike. I was the go-between often taking the concerns of enlisted soldiers to officers and also taking the concerns of officers to enlisted soldiers. Everyone knew that I would always do the right thing.”
With networking skills, early in her career, she received SBI (Special Background Investigation) top-secret clearance to enter Top Secret Military Vaults and access highly secret and confidential military information. Additionally, she completed back-up computer training for the Worldwide Command and Control System.
Preparing for deployment to Desert Storm, she became part of a team responsible for Chemical Warfare Detection training. In Saudi Arabia from December,1990 until April, 1991, Lisa was the only fully-trained AutoCAD specialist. Auto is the acronym for a software program for Computer Aided Design and drafting (CAD). In charge of computer mapping, Lisa designed documents and created drawings for Army unit locations, for roads to travel on, for foam domes and for contracts to rebuild – among other assignments.
Born in Chicago in 1962, she concurrently enjoyed satisfactory employment at Motorola in Illinois and service to USAR until 1997. During this time her health deteriorated from conditions started during deployment to Saudi Arabia. With the interruption of her health and prosperous lifestyle, she lost four properties and almost lost her life. Ebony Magazine’s November 2014 article, “A Respect for Duty” by Donna M. Owens recounts Lisa’s 13 – year struggle to get the Veterans Administration to compensate her for illnesses that began during her deployment. It is encouraging that Lisa eventually won, while coping with flair-ups that often landed her in hospitals as she traveled to several places throughout the US for diagnostic and treatment solutions.
Her valiant service resulted in numerous medals. Occupying special shelves in her curio with her Bronze Star Medal are a Saudi Arabia-Kuwait Liberation Medal, a Kuwait-Kuwait Liberation Medal, a Southwest Asia Service – Persian Gulf Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, an Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, two Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, a National Defense Service Medal and an Army Lapel Button.
Lisa moved to Milwaukee in 2000 living briefly with her mother before purchasing her present home in 2001. “I was just passing through with my beloved dog, Kado, – but stayed.”
Now as a civilian and devoted member of the National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. for over 10 years, Lisa assist other veterans as she volunteers in her local community. Beneficiaries of her selfless service included the Center for Veterans issues and two other community organizations, Common Ground and WINGS. Her motivation lies in loving to see people prosper. To that end, she wrote a letter to President Barack Obama suggesting a number of ideas to better the United States of America, which he responded to.
A Progressive Baptist Church member, she feels it imperative to concentrate on her health. This includes some well-deserved time for herself, which she uses to personally redesign selected areas of her home, adding special touches with hands-on mosaic tile installation. Lisa credits her mother for playing a great role in her life and providing support, training and direction that the military service definitely added finishing touches to..