Veterans and volunteers: still serving country and community

By Diana Rodriguez-Beaugrand, Staff Contributor, American Red Cross

At the morning meeting in Austin, Texas Red Cross volunteers recognize the military veterans among them with a ceremony before they dispatch out into the community for the day.
At the morning meeting in Austin, Texas, Red Cross workers take a moment to recognize the military veterans among them with a ceremony before they dispatch out into the community for the day. The veterans, pictured, gather at the front of the room to hear the service anthem for each branch and to be presented with a special ribbon to recognize their service.

“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.

Bob Dewald, Air Force veteran and American Red Cross volunteer
Bob Dewald, Air Force veteran and American Red Cross volunteer

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.

David Curtis and Dale MacDonald, veterans and volunteer ERV drivers
David Curtis and Dale MacDonald, veterans and volunteer ERV drivers

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.”

Veterans Elizabeth Williams army
Elizabeth Williams, Army veteran and American Red Cross volunteer

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.

John and Judith Nelson, military veterans and American Red Cross volunteers
John and Judith Nelson, military veterans and American Red Cross volunteers

“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.”

Advertisements
Veterans and volunteers: still serving country and community

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s