December 1969 Vietnam War. Pleiku, South Vietnam - Carol Jurinich, American Red Cross clubmobile worker, St. Louis, Mo., unloads Christmas gifts which were collected by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Mo.) for servicemen. Assisting her at the fire support base, 57th Artillery, are SP4 Allen E. Seherer (left), Belleville, Ill., and SP4 Jerry D. Holder, Pittsboro, Miss.
Photo: Robert Woodbury/American Red Cross
The American Red Cross Overseas Association (ARCOA) will hold its 64th Annual Conference May 17 – 19 at the Sheraton in downtown Springfield. ARCOA, whose members include men and women who have served with the Red Cross overseas during war and peacetime, seeks to renew friendships created during service and keep alive the spirit that prompted that service.
The Red Cross legacy of service to the members of the military began with Clara Barton providing comfort on the battlefields of the Civil War. Since then, American Red Cross staff have served in every major military combat or conflict operation around the world as ambulance drivers, nurses, field directors, canteen, hospital, recreation workers, and station managers. They are among a select group who have proudly worn the Red Cross emblem to provide care and comfort to the members of the U.S. Armed Forces. From the women who worked in Clubmobiles during World War II to the Red Cross individuals who serve abroad today, ARCOA brings together these individuals to remember and honor their compassionate commitment to humanity. And through each of them, the spirit of service lives on.
The keynote speaker for the conference will be Rick Lee, Director of the Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter. This convention marks the 64th annual reunion of this group since its founding following WWII. Three of this year’s attendees served with Red Cross in England, France, Germany and the Far East during WWII are well into their 90s.
ARCOA, organized by men and women who served overseas with the American Red Cross during World War II in 1949, is an independent national organization with a fellowship of men and women who have, across many decades and countless miles, experienced the rewards and hazards of serving abroad. These deployed Red Cross staffers have assisted U.S. military personnel, helped disaster sufferers, lent knowledge, and supported Red Cross and Red Crescent societies as they seek to broaden their capabilities.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/cwm or join our blog at http://americanredcrossofcentralma.wordpress.com/.