By Diana Rodriguez-Beaugrand, Staff Contributor, American Red Cross
“Just because it was time to take off the uniform, doesn’t mean that it was time to quit serving my country.” That’s the answer you get when you ask retired Air Force Veteran Bob Dewald why he volunteers with the American Red Cross.
He’s one of many Veterans giving of their time and effort in Austin, Texas to help flood victims.
“Serving in the military embeds a culture of service,” the Tennessean says.
On this Veterans Day, numerous men and women veterans are still serving “God and Country” and now community, nationwide. In Austin, they just happen to be commemorating the holiday by serving people affected by floods in Austin.
Dale MacDonald out of Prescott, Arizona is an Army Veteran who served in the Korean War.
“I would much rather be here than watching some parade. I feel that I’m really helping some people here in Austin,” Dale says.
He drove the Emergency Response Vehicle from the Northern Arizona Chapter of the Red Cross into Austin the day after floods hit the Central Texas region.
“Just to know that these people are getting something to eat, and I can see that they’re getting shelter and clean up kits, all the stuff that they need,” said Dale. “It makes me feel good.”
Elizabeth Williams served in the U.S. Army as a Human Resources Manager from 1979 to 2006 before moving back to Oklahoma. “I joined the Army to make the world a better place , and although I’ve changed uniforms now, I’m still trying to make the world a better place by serving in the Red Cross.
John and Judith Nelson, both veterans, have been driving the streets of the Onion Creek neighborhood and other flood ravaged communities around Austin to serve hot meals.
“It’s what veterans do.” John says with a smile. Judith, who convinced her husband to join the Red Cross as an Emergency Response Vehicle driver, sums up their service and that of veterans who volunteer for the Red Cross across the nation: “We’re volunteers for life, It’s the American way.”