Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Independence Day Reminds of Red Cross History: U.S. Senate Recognizes Red Cross Clubmobiles

Written by Catherine Carlton, volunteer contributor
Over the Fourth of July, we take time as Americans to celebrate our country and our patriotism. One of the core values of America is service to our country, which is something that the Red Cross has been doing in the Dallas area for over 101 years. One way that the American Red Cross serves our country is by providing support to our military. During World World II our troops deployed all over the globe to fight for freedom and peace. The American Red Cross was right behind them, serving out of newly built Red Cross Clubmobiles that could follow the troops on their missions overseas.

The first Red Cross Clubmobile arrived in France just days after the D-Day invasion began. That summer, 80 Red Cross Clubmobiles provided food, drink, friendly faces to the troops and a listening ear.
The American Red Cross women who volunteered and operated Clubmobiles during World War II were recognized recently by the United States Senate with Resolution 471. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke on the U.S. Senate floor on the importance of honoring the Clubmobile women.
“A visit from a Clubmobile was one of the most significant events for a young G.I. in combat far from home,” she said.“These women were trailblazers. During the war, 52 Red Cross women lost their lives, some of them from the Clubmobiles. Their stories are those of a nation at war….their stories are every bit as vibrant and important to our victory as those of the men who valiantly fought to defend our freedom.”
Barbara Pathe began her Red Cross career in 1942 as a volunteer; in the photo above she serves as a Clubmobile captain and club director with the armed forces in Europe during WWII. She described a 19-year-old that frequented her station” 
“He stood there and talked to me the whole time we were serving,” she said. “Listening was the biggest thing we did. Nothing else, just listening.”
“Service to members of the military and their families is a proud and core part of the Red Cross history and of our mission today, and we appreciate this recognition of the tremendous work of these Red Cross volunteers during World War II,” said Sherri Brown, senior vice president, Services to the Armed Forces, American Red Cross.
For more information about the Red Cross’ long standing history of military support and to learn about how you can serve with us in this capacity today, visit the Service to the Armed Forces page.

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