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. According to 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. “Whether it’s helping fellow veterans at our VA Medical Centers or comforting a stranger who just survived a house fire, these veterans are again answering the call to duty. Many volunteer as a way to continue using the skills they learned through their service. Responding to disasters, coordinating life-saving blood drives, and providing emergency communications all utilize key skills learned in the military,” stated Crystal Smith, Service to the Armed Forces/International Services Program Director.
Veterans are joining the American Red Cross and to help others. When Hurricane Ian caused devastation across Florida veterans from across the country were among the first to be among our recovery and response efforts. Veterans are critical members of our community, and we appreciate and value their service after service.
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.