Throughout the week leading up to Veterans Day, the American Red Cross is recognizing veterans who continue their second service in local communities across the country.
In North Carolina, retired Air Force veteran Roberto Mendoza continues to put service above self. For more than 40 years, Roberto has served as a proud Red Cross volunteer.
“I try to help out as much as I can. I see a lot of veterans in this country, those that have served this country and some of them probably put their lives on the line. So, whenever I can help out, I will help out.”
Roberto graduated from high school during the height of the Vietnam War and joined the Air Force in 1968. Robert’s dream career was aircraft maintenance, and he was fortunate to be sent to Shepard Air Force Base in Texas to attend technical school to complete this training.
Over the next several years, Roberto’s career took him from his first duty station in Kedena, Okinawa, to Thailand, where his squadron fought in the Vietnam War. The following years included deployments to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, NC, where he and his wife currently reside.
Roberto spent much of his time in the Air Force as an aircraft maintenance instructor, and this is where he was introduced to the Red Cross. Instructors were required to become certified in CPR, and Roberto went on to teach CPR/AED and First Aid for the rest of his Air Force career. Roberto retired as a Master Sergeant after 20 years of service.
Today, Roberto continues his service as a volunteer by supporting home fire and disaster responses, sharing critical emergency preparedness information and helping military families and veterans in his community.
Video by: Tai Wong, Communications Manager for the Eastern North Carolina Region.
Veterans like Roberto can find camaraderie and renewed passion after service through their work with the Red Cross. To learn more about how you can give back to your community this Veterans Day, visit redcross.org/VolunteerToday.