This Veterans Day, November 11, the American Red Cross is recognizing veterans who continue to serve. Veterans who step up to support their communities through the Red Cross remind us how our mission was born on the battlefield through our founder Clara Barton's care for Civil War soldiers.
When the war ended, Clara found new ways to help the military, including opening the Office of Missing Soldiers and helping reconnect more than 20,000 soldiers with their families. Today, we continue her legacy serving the U.S. military community from the time a service member takes the oath to navigating life as a veteran.
Get to know a veteran who continues to serve her community through the Red Cross after she once relied on emergency communications messaging to reconnect with her family while serving overseas.
Paying It Forward – Denise Teasdell, United States Navy Veteran
“Some years ago, my little sister was killed in a car accident. I was on active duty in Hawaii, and the Red Cross gave me my emergency message," reported Denise Teasdell, a veteran who served as a Yeoman in the Navy. "After they got me home, they checked on me a couple of times and made sure I got back to Hawaii.”
Through the Hero Care Network, the Red Cross connects service members, veterans and their families to free and confidential assistance any day, anytime. This includes emergency communication messages, financial assistance, critical community services and more.
"Getting the information as quickly as possible is so important. I make a lot of the emergency calls myself," said Teasdell about her role as the Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Director for the Red Cross of South Carolina. "Making sure they can get home to be with family is the most important thing to me because when it happened to me, Red Cross made sure I got home.”
Having received help during an emergency while serving, Denise knows just how critical Red Cross services are to military families. That’s why she joined the Red Cross. Denise recently found her old journal with an entry where she promised to pay it forward through the Red Cross if she ever has the opportunity.
"People just don't know what's available – we have a lot of people we're serving every day that aren't aware of everything we offer," she said. "I want to let them know what's available. We're offering all of these workshops for our active-duty service members and veterans."
Each year, the Red Cross assists more than 240,000 military and veteran families. We offer a variety of free resiliency workshops, both in person and online, to provide military, veterans and their families with effective tools for facing challenges and stress.
For more than 140 years, the American Red Cross has served military members, veterans and their families. Throughout the many decades, veterans like Denise have stepped up to support their communities after their active-duty service ends by volunteering with the Red Cross. From the front lines of disaster recovery to service in the Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world, their impact is integral to the Red Cross mission.
THE HEART OF OUR WORKFORCE
Over 20,000 Red Cross volunteers are veterans. 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.
GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME
Join the Hero Care Network as a volunteer caseworker and help provide the critical link for military members, veterans and their families during emergency situations. To learn more about how you can give back to your community this Veterans Day, visit redcross.org/HeroCareVolunteer