From Richard Carey
Subject: Red cross contact
To: Gail J. McGovern
American Red Cross
If I may for a moment distract you? Over coffee this morning I made a few comments about a recent experience I had with the Red Cross.
My friend Shep Hoffman asks that I contact you and I include his name here.
He lays claims to knowing you and after a brief read about you on Google I can see why he was quick to say so. Surprised that Shep sent me straight to the top, but he said you would appreciate hearing from me. I will do my best to express myself in hopes the trickle down effect makes it all the way back to your people; which in turn comes back in kind to somebody like me all over again. They should know their effect, even on the little things, which are far more reaching than they might expect. The total words exchanged would not fill a crossword puzzle, but their effect will be lasting. My attendance to the spirit imparted will not fail on my watch, their contribution on my lips at every chance I get.
Back ground: My son Matt is in the reserves, now called up for his second deployment. I as his father need not say more about what it means to have loved ones in harms way. The reality of each day, even more the current state of mind father and son share in moments of truth such as times like these leave me humbled and grateful to many such as he. The supreme sacrifice of a life given in service to one another is never more exemplified than those in battle, under fire. So also are the members of the Red Cross as they wade into a sea of suffering where human anguish is the enemy. A type of courage I did not know of until now.
Family matter arises unexpectedly so we call on the Red Cross for help.
We get word of Matt’s grandfather, my father has cancer. Tough times at our house each of us reconciling to ourselves what exactly this means, Matt especially.
Now comes the story I want share with you.
Never new what the word Red Cross meant, not really and I especially did not realize what they meant to me. I recalled their presence in human tragedy over the years so I already have a healthy respect.
The moment I made one call to the Red Cross it was if God himself had moved on my behalf. The Army marches to it’s own beat and that is as it should be.
The Army in it’s wisdom interfaces with the Red Cross giving them authority to cut through all the red tape was my first clue something special was happening.
Yes they made sure Matt saw his grandfather. (ref #645079 I was given) I know it was complicated since the timing was just before they were to ship out. Much appreciated but it is not the reason I am writing to you.
I couldn’t believe one phone call, one request, one person like me among so many could get so much help. My phone rang before and after each step of the process with the same person day or night as if someone had their hand leading me. Compassion in her voice, tender like still float through my head. It was as if we were family. Nine hours after my initial phone call Matt was here with us. I acknowledge in the big scheme of things mine is, relatively speaking, insignificant compared to the many needs our armed services have. Then is when it hit me the hardest.
I set down and wept, a grown man crying tears of joy. Not for myself mind you though turning to my own troubles would seem the norm. There was more to it than that. As I sorted through my feelings I realized I wept for all those men women and family’s the Red Cross touches each and every day. Day in day out they are there silent until needed. As my tears puddle on the floor beneath me I felt a rush of well being. Just to know you are there emboldens me knowing our world has such caring people doing such loving things. Yes I was touched that day by the Red Cross. A person I knew by first name only and never met. What grabbed me at my depths was knowing what it feels like to be touched so, followed by the awareness of all the people you touch, and have touched. To experience the strength in a gentile voice was a comfort to me, but the greatest gift of all is the empathy I feel for all those who find themselves in need, who will have a sanctuary where love conquers all.
To those unspoken heroes of the Red Cross THANK YOU