by Adriana Arbelaez, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas
After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Bob Husted had one priority, to become a Red Cross volunteer. His motivation was sparked in 1969 while serving the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. “I knew I wanted to become a volunteer,” he recalled. “The fact that the Red Cross is the one that notified me about my dad’s passing is what motivated me to join.”
Through the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Hero Care Network, Bob received emergency communication whereby the Red Cross contacts military members serving around the world to provide them essential information regarding their families back home.
Thinking back on his first day as a Red Cross volunteer, Bob remembers about 30 people sitting in a classroom all eager to learn about disasters. “It was really interesting,” he recalls. “That first day, they all asked a lot of questions that helped us learn a lot and take advantage of meeting everyone.”
His first big disaster response happened in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina.
“I was working with the Services to the Armed Forces when Hurricane Katrina happened. It was nonstop. When people asked me when was the last day I had off, I realized I had not stopped working in two weeks! They tried to send me home, but I can’t stay at home. I am here to help!”
It is due to his determination and dedication to helping victims of disaster that Bob still clocks 60-80 volunteer hours per month.
Now, a 14-year veteran with the American Red Cross, Bob splits his time between enjoying the company of his beloved wife and serving the North Texas community through the Red Cross. At home, Bob and his wife enjoy spending their time traveling or with their children. At the Red Cross, his days looks significantly different. “On a normal day here, I organize home fire campaigns, do training, perform some coordinating things and do staffing. I do a lot of things!”
Through many years, with a wide variety of roles and responsibilities, Bob describes his overall experience of volunteering at the American Red Cross as “really good!” While over time, some things have changed, the happiness and joy he feels from volunteering never has. Bob wants to continue helping people through the Red Cross, and encourages others to join him in serving our neighbors in need!
We at the American Red Cross appreciate the efforts of volunteers like Bob and are grateful for the difference they make in our communities each and every day!
Learn more about volunteering with the Red Cross at redcross.org/volunteer.