By Mark Walker, Red Cross volunteer
When members of the military leave the service, thousands turn to the Red Cross and become volunteers.
Their spirit of service to others is being saluted by the Northwest Region of the Red Cross, which has produced a panel of portraits of the service members and families with strong ties to the organization.
“We felt it was important to salute the continuing selfless service in our region,” said Jason Matheney, Service to the Armed Forces Northwest Regional Director.
The photos of volunteers show them during their service years and present day, including descriptions of their current roles with the Red Cross.
The visual acknowledgement titled “Then and Now” is in keeping with this year’s Veterans Day theme – “Veterans in Focus.” Veterans Day was first proclaimed in 1919 following the armistice that ended World War I.
View the entire “Then and Now” slideshow: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmRVTzyJ
The Northwest Region has dozens of veteran volunteers as well as paid staffers. The panels were assembled over the last several months by James McLaughlin, a Service to the Armed Forces specialist attached to the Red Cross Spokane office.
“It’s been great to learn the stories of the people who submitted photos,” he said. The Red Cross plans to make the salute to its veterans an annual event.
Across the nation, the Red Cross counts about six percent of its workforce as veterans. Veteran volunteers work in a wide array of Red Cross services, including assistance at military hospitals, answering emergency calls and responding to local, state and national emergencies.