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RED CROSS VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT-COLLECTING STORIES OF WAR

The Battleship USS Iowa, located in San Pedro, was the setting this past Wednesday to host the official recognition of the Veterans History Project  for the Los Angeles County Chapter. American Red Cross CEO Jarrett Barrios (center) addresses the veterans. Seated (l-r) Kevin Shelby, Cold War Navy Veteran, Bob Patrick Director Veterans History Project, Michael Jordan, Vice President Humanitarian Service and Mike Getscher, Executive Vice President Pacific Battleship Center. Photo by Tammye McDuff

The Battleship USS Iowa, located in San Pedro, was the setting this past Wednesday to host the official recognition of the Veterans History Project for the Los Angeles County Chapter. American Red Cross CEO Jarrett Barrios (center) addresses the veterans. Seated (l-r) Kevin Shelby, Cold War Navy Veteran, Bob Patrick Director Veterans History Project, Michael Jordan, Vice President Humanitarian Service and Mike Getscher, Executive Vice President Pacific Battleship Center. Photo by Tammye McDuff

By Tammye McDuff

 

The American Red Cross has an unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. Military, its Veterans and their families, providing support in numerous ways. The Red Cross has partnered with the Library of Congress on the Veterans History Project (VHP), a national program created in 2000, that preserves and makes accessible the personal accounts of American War veterans so that future generations can better understand the realities of war.

 

The historic Battleship USS Iowa, located in San Pedro, was the setting this past Wednesday to host the official kick off and recognition of the VHP for the Los Angeles County chapter.

 

Jarrett Barrios, Chief Executive Officer American Red Cross Los Angeles Region began the celebration by saying, “I’m not going to get all teary eyed like I usually do. For one hundred years the Red Cross has been working with veterans and their families, in times of war and in times of peace, and we are here today to commemorate all those men and women who have shaped our Country.”

 

Los Angeles County has more veterans than any other county in the United States, which means there are more stories to tell. Barrios continued, “each one of these stories is a living legend of our country. These stories will help our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren hundreds of years from now to know what our country was about through these chronicles of valor and heroism.”

 

The Los Angeles Region was the first chapter to take up the challenge of recording these stories and embracing the VHP. To date there have been 437 stories recorded by the Long Beach chapter and over 96,000 interviews nationwide as permanent records of our nation’s history.

 

Michael Jordan, Vice President, Humanitarian Services, Pacific Division of the American Red Cross and a veteran of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom said being able to participate in this Program was a humbling experience. Jordan recalled, “I was able to interact with the Red Cross while stationed overseas and was able to help military personnel connect with their families in urgent or stressful situations through the Red Cross.”

 

In 2014 the Red Cross was able to respond to 355,000 emergency communications situations, in order for active military to contact those at home.

 

Director for the VHP with the Library of Congress, Bob Patrick introduced the Project, “The Veterans Wartime History Project’s main goal is to collect stories from veterans. The folks here at the Los Angeles Regional district have done a terrific job putting the program together. It is very special to begin collecting the stories here on the USS Iowa. We want to gather as many stories as we can.”

 

 

The VHP is one of the few pieces of unanimous bipartisan legislation that has ever been passed by Congress. If you or someone you know would like to participate, please contact Mike Farrar, VHP Director for Los Angeles Region at (562) 490-4003 or [email protected]

 

Photo 01 – Speaking: CEO American Red Cross Jarrett Barrios. Seated Left to Right – Kevin Shelby, Cold War Navy Veteran, Bob Patrick Director Veterans History Project, Michael Jordan, Vice President Humanitarian Service and Mike Getscher, Executive Vice President Pacific Battleship Center

Photo 02 – The many Veterans attending the Veterans History Project aboard the USS Iowa

 

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