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Red Cross volunteer recounts “best 15 minutes of her life” - Recollection from Sunday’s Veteran’s Day ceremony at Chattanooga National Cemetery

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The best 15 minutes of my life were spent handing out donuts after the ceremony

CHATTANOOGA – November 15, 2012 – The American Red Cross showed its appreciation for area service men and women at Sunday’s Veteran’s Day ceremonies at the historic Chattanooga National Cemetery. The organization served coffee and 34 dozen donuts, 10 dozen of which were donated by Krispy Kreme, to almost 400 veterans. There were eight Red Cross volunteers on hand to make sure everyone was welcomed. For one volunteer, the experience was particularly moving. “The best 15 minutes of my life were spent handing out donuts after the ceremony at the Veterans National Cemetery yesterday,” said volunteer Sheila van Dyke. “As I approached a group of men with my "talking box" of donuts, one gentleman gladly took one. He said, ‘I've gotta tell you a story. When I first arrived on the beach in Japan, I was very nervous. As I walked up the beach, I saw women from the American Red Cross giving out donuts and coffee. As one of the women approached me, we both became overwhelmed. I graduated high school with her in Chattanooga and there she was, giving me a donut on a beach in Japan!’ WOW!” The American Red Cross serves and supports members of the military, veterans and their families by providing the comfort and care they need in military and veterans hospitals. The Red Cross supports military families with vital social services and by providing emergency communications to keep families connected when they need it most. The Red Cross assists in person wherever it is needed. That could be alongside the troops throughout the world, on stateside military installations or in local communities far from a base. SAF at the Red Cross is a mixture of both tradition and innovation. We continually adapt our traditional services and create new programs to meet the needs to today’s military member, veterans and their families. Our work is important to the nation because it is important to our troops and their families. For information about the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces contact Emily Fish at (423) 265-3455.