Allegany County United Way
Wellsville, New York
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Red Cross Provides Services to the Armed Forces

Veteran returns the favor

Soldiers do not freely open up about their experiences abroad. Like firefighters and police officers, they see themselves as “just doing their job.” They will not talk about what they saw, but sometimes they talk about other moments.

A Red Cross Blood volunteer tells a story of an employee at Alfred State College who, when asked why she was donating blood that day, told her Red Cross Story. “I was deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in 2010-2011. The days were extremely long, the weather was suffocating hot. It was very easy to become depressed and homesick over there. I’ll never forget the day I walked into our command tent and saw an American Red Cross volunteer holding a Red Cross dog. The dog’s sole purpose was to boost our morale. As an animal lover, I could not stop petting and hugging this sweet, friendly dog. It was so comforting seeing a pet there, after going so long without seeing anything other than camels! I remember thinking, ‘I can’t believe this woman left our great country to just volunteer her time to support the troops in this hell hole. She must be a saint.’ I wondered if she and the dog knew how much I appreciated their visits because no words could truly describe how grateful I was. “So,” she concluded, I saw the signs around the campus and thought I return the favor and say thanks.”

Allegany County United Way is pleased to support Red Cross Services to Armed Forces effort.