Bill and his father William are a dynamic duo. This holiday season, they’ll be supporting their community in Eastern Pennsylvania with their local Veterans Food Basket Program. Their journey of working together at the Red Cross started after they retired from their respective careers in the U.S. Army and Air Force.
“It feels very good to work with my son. He was away from home for 20 years serving in the Army and to have him in the area is surreal,” William Rodebaugh II said. “I am enjoying every minute of it.
In retirement after a 20-year military career, Bill Rodebaugh III wanted to give back in his community. After two years of volunteering with displaced children and hospice care residents, he found a permanent position as the Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Director for our Eastern Pennsylvania Region.
Serving with the Red Cross
“When I found out that I could come back home to be with my family and give back, it was almost like the perfect job,” Bill said. “They were going to pay me to do something I really wanted to do, which was to help others.”
In his current role, Bill ensures that members of the military, veterans and their families living in the area have access to SAF programs and services like the Red Cross Hero Care Network and Mind Body Workshops. He also works with volunteers who are providing support for wounded warriors at military hospitals.
And he’s thrilled at the opportunity to get to do this work with his father.
William served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Today he works alongside his son as their region’s volunteer engagement lead.
In his role he helps volunteers find their best fit within the Red Cross. He also attends veteran outreach events with Bill and helps to recruit volunteers every opportunity he gets.
“At times it takes a veteran to get through to another veteran because of our shared experience,” William said. “So, reaching out to veterans and placing them in a position where they can help other vets for me is really meaningful.”
Making a Difference
Over the holidays the father and son duo will be serving with the Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Region’s Veterans Food Basket and Transportation Programs. Through the Veterans Food Basket Program, volunteers will be delivering food straight to veteran’s homes. Last year they distributed 350 baskets in their community. Volunteers will also be driving veterans, who otherwise wouldn’t have transportation, to local VA hospitals for appointments through the Veterans Transportation Program.
We’re grateful for Red Crossers like Bill and William who have not only served in the military themselves, but continue to support service members and their families in the community during the holidays and year-round.
“I’m grateful to be able to do the work that I do every day,” Bill said. “If I can help give someone a little rest or piece of mind by connecting them to a Red Cross program or service, it’s more important than anything else. I love knowing that a large part of my day goes toward doing something good that helps people move forward.”
Helping Military and Veteran Families
Learn more about how the Red Cross supports military families here.