I am a veteran - of the US Army and the American Red Cross. Both have been integral parts of my life - providing support for me, and my family.
When my father died - while still on active duty - Red Cross helped with logistics - getting my mom to and from his bedside and finally back to us in Germany. They helped her make decisions, and walked her through the long process of relocating and detaching from a lifestyle we'd become accustomed to - we were Army brats, she was a war bride.
Later - when I was in the Army - Red Cross was there to help with the death of my grandfather. They provided communication and helped me make good decisions.
Years later I began volunteering for Red Cross, and in the late 90's became an employee. It was a gratifying experience. I traveled to disasters from Texas to Tampa and south of the border as well. What I learned is that trouble is a relative thing - and disaster is subjective. The common denominator is people.
Throughout disasters - large and small - the Red Cross is there. From an apartment fire to widespread disasters like Hurricane Katrina - there is help available because volunteers step up to the plate. Most are never seen but they do the work that is necessary to help people move on with life. Whatever we do to help that work continue is valuable. My part this year is doing this ride, for Kay Wilkins and all those faithful Red Crossers in NOLA and parts beyond.
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