For most of his adult life, Jason Ramlow has been serving our country. He served in the Air Force for five years, eventually earning the rank of Senior Airman E4, until leaving the Air Force in 1996. Since then, he has devoted his time to serving the American Red Cross in various capacities for the past 21 years.
Jason was born and raised in Minnesota, growing up in Cottage Grove. His mother worked at a local hospital doing laundry and his stepfather was boiler operator and maintenance worker. He got married in 2003 and lives happily with his spouse and two cats.
While in the Air Force, Ramlow’s duty stations were at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida; Osan Air Force Base in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea; and McChord Air Force Base in Pierce County, (Tacoma), Washington State. He also received technical training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. One of his positions in the Air Force was as Operation Specialist, AF Health Services Management Journeyman, administrative (not medical). He found it interesting to support medical care through medical field support with this position.
“As a military serviceman, my foremost mission was to the rules and regulation of the Air Force,” Jason says. Reflecting further on his years in the military, Jason says he enjoyed traveling and learning about places, but he disliked the monotony of parts of his work as well as some of the “petty rules” like having room inspection of the singles barracks on the Base.
He made friends with his fellow servicemen while in the military and is still in touch with some of them to this day. ”I appreciate the support services of the military, and was happy to have the benefits of the GI bill to pay for my college education, and being eligible for a VA guaranteed home loan,” Jason says.
Some of Jason’s most memorable and interesting experiences were in Korea. “I was young, so I worked and played hard. I enjoyed the different foods of the varying countries and areas, and exploring South Korea. I had a Korean girlfriend, several different bosses and a lot of good friends,” Jason says “I did not fight in a war, but sometimes my family and friends back in the USA were concerned because the news would sometimes exaggerate things that happened in Korea.”
“One of my most humorous experiences in Korea was when I went with a couple of buddies to a combination amusement park and zoo. We did not understand the Korean language signs very well and so we found ourselves in an area off-limits to the public. Koreans were soon laughing at us and we couldn’t help but laugh at our mistake as well,” Jason says.
Looking back on his Air Force years, Jason says “military life changed me because I had to be organized and pay attention to details. I learned to be orderly, which allowed me to live my life with more detail orientation.”
After the military, Jason went to Winona State University in southeastern Minnesota, where he graduated in December 1999. Soon after receiving his degree, Jason started serving in the Red Cross, Armed Forces Emergency Services. “I had no problem integrating into civilian life. I used my military training to ‘serve others before self’. The military helped me serve the greater good in providing services to the community,” Jason says. “Not everyone would adapt well to a regimented life and doing what one is told to do. In retrospect, military life for me was a positive experience.”
His first interaction with Red Cross was at his Air Force duty station in Florida. He met Red Cross volunteers while he was working there. “My experience in the military impacted me as I was able to travel and learn about different people and lifestyles,” says Jason.
Jason Ramlow serves his country still at the Red Cross in the Service to the Armed Forces department. It is noteworthy that he learned compassion and desire to help others through the experiences he had firsthand in the military.