I was recently in a meeting with several Red Cross volunteers that was truly inspirational as they talked about what they do for the Red Cross. A comment about the VA Hospital in Johnson City led me to look around the room for veterans. Six of the people enjoying time together were former military personnel. The Marines, Army, and Air Force were represented. (Northeast Tennessee is a long way from the ocean but we hope that the Navy sends someone our way soon!)
The connection between the Red Cross and the military is long and storied. From Clara Barton on the battlefields of the Civil War to the Red Cross staff on bases in Afghanistan today, we have supported the military and served as a link back to the families that live in our communities. How rewarding it is to see that career military people are connecting with us after they retire.
As I continued to look at my friends and co-workers, I realized that they are leaders of our team. They believe in service and helping others, and combined with the leadership skills they honed during their military service, they make us strong. No one knows the value and benefits of a team better than these brave people who served our country. We are fortunate that they have joined with us to share the talents of true team players as we provide Red Cross services to our communities.
We are getting ever closer to November 11th, Veteran’s Day. On this day, we recognize the great sacrifices made by our troops and their families. Beginning with the Spanish-American War (the first and only time the Red Cross supported the military, in a conflict, under Clara Barton), the Red Cross has partnered with the military in many different capacities. Our bond is strong.
On Veteran’s Day this year, take some time to thank the people who served in the military. An even better idea is to take time and thank them today!