Houston military veterans gather to volunteer with Red Cross on Veteran's Day

Some Houston military veterans are on the front lines again.

This time they're volunteering to help combat disease and disasters at home.

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On this Veterans Day and every day we are thankful for our military veterans and so is the American Red Cross who's getting tremendous help from Veteran Volunteers.

“I just want to be able to help people,” says Red Cross Volunteer Joe Bush whose uniform and perhaps even his reflection in the mirror has changed over the years but his heart for service certainly has not. "I have over 40 years of service,” explains the former U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. and retired Houston Police Department Sergeant who is now deployed again to the front lines of the pandemic this time.

Now it isn't a military duty but a commitment to community that's driving Bush and dozens of veteran volunteers to help the American Red Cross.

“They're delivering comfort items, delivering coffee, delivering books to those who are injured or in the hospital,” explains Marco Bracamontes with the American Red Cross.

Even as the veterans give the gift of themselves they are also finding ways to help not only COVID-19 patients and storm victims but also other military veterans.

"We did a big parade and we drove around the center several times and had flags and let the vets know we appreciate what they're doing. We do emotional support. We provide them, a lot of times it's just listening. A lot of times it's for the vet who feels all alone and isolated,” says Bush.

The Vet Volunteers also contribute to the Red Cross' Hero Care Network. "It's a free support system for military and veteran heroes when they are facing crisis,” explains Bracamontes.

As for Sgt. Bush, he finds it therapeutic to help others. He recalls showing up at one Houston home to install smoke alarms. “And the guy answers the door and he goes oh we don't need that. We don't need that and I could hear his wife in the background going oh yes we do. Oh yes, we do. You let them come in and do you know we got word back a couple of days later that they had a kitchen fire and if it wasn't for the alarms it could have been a lot worse. I'm just so glad I'm able to help,” smiles Bush. 

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