This Veterans Day the Red Cross is honoring veterans who make a difference in their local communities.
SAN FRANCISCO. November 10, 2022— This Veterans Day, November 11, 2022, the American Red Cross is recognizing veterans who continue their service in local communities across the country.
As disasters roil communities across the country, veterans are donning the Red Cross vest and lending a hand to those in need in their local communities. At military bases and in local neighborhoods, veterans are rolling up their sleeves to donate blood and help give the critical gift of life. Whether teaching lifesaving skills or giving back to their own by volunteering to assist fellow veterans, they are making an impact through the teamwork and dedication that served them well during military service.
According to the census, there are more than 18 million U.S. military veterans around the world. When it’s time to put the uniform away, some veterans encounter difficulty with the process. As stated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 1/3 of all veterans report that they struggle with depression after military service. From difficulty navigating the culture of civilian life to finding a shared sense of purpose, 27% of veterans report difficulty integrating into the civilian workforce post-service, according to the Pew Research Center. Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans & Military Families (IVMF) reports that prior military service and civic participation are linked. IVMF concludes that military service helps overcome barriers to volunteering and provides positive outcomes for veterans.
At the Red Cross, many of these veterans say they are finding connection and purpose through service to others. “I think once you’ve been in the military, you’re inclined to serve one way or another,” said Larry Dietz, U.S. Army veteran and Red Cross volunteer for the Northern California Coastal Region. “Being a Red Crosser certainly afforded me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Dietz began his military service in September 1963 when he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps at Northeastern University in Boston and in August 1968, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, Military Intelligence in the US Army. He served in a number of active duty and reserve roles in the years that followed, including leading in the fields of communications security, radio research, and strategic intelligence. He officially retired in April 2002.
As a Red Cross volunteer, Dietz works with the Service to the Armed Forces team as an instructor for the International Humanitarian Law seminars, alongside other activities involving the services that the Red Cross provides to members of the military and their families. Dietz is a Red Cross spokesperson and has deployed several times across the region to support disaster relief operations as a member of the Public Affairs team. In addition to these roles, he is a blood donor and is currently approaching his one-gallon milestone.
“It's very refreshing to work for an organization that has a universal humanitarian cause. It feels that you're actually helping others,” he said. “Red Cross volunteers are genuinely nice people. They just want to help out, and do good”.
THE HEART OF OUR WORKFORCE
Many Red Cross volunteers are veterans who continue to support their communities after their active-duty service ends. From the front lines of disaster recovery to service in Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world, their impact is integral to the Red Cross.
Over 20,000 Red Cross volunteers are veterans — making up 14% of our workforce. Veterans hold many positions at the Red Cross from nurses to logisticians, emergency management experts, project managers and preparedness experts, as well as a number of veterans in leadership roles at local Red Cross chapters across the country.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Volunteer to help veterans or to work alongside them to make our communities stronger. To learn more about how you can give back in your community this Veterans Day, visit redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.