Volunteer spotlight: For Red Cross volunteer, Army is a family tradition
May 3, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- William "Bill" Bartlett was no stranger to Army life before volunteering to work at Fort Jackson's Red Cross office four years ago. He previously spent 14 years as the Red Cross's emergency services director for the Midlands, but, prior to that, he was in the Army for almost three decades.
"I love to do it, and I wouldn't do anything else," said Bartlett, who was a 2012 inductee into the Fort Jackson Volunteer Hall of Fame. "I wouldn't want to not be working with the Red Cross. I like it."
Bartlett is a Red Cross emergency services caseworker and delivers messages for Soldiers and family members during times of crisis, helping to facilitate emergency leave. He's one of about 90 volunteers who donate their time to the post's Red Cross chapter.
"He's done a great job," said Red Cross station manager Sandy Chambers. "He will do anything we ask him to do, so he's been a great volunteer for us."
"What I do here is similar to what I did for the (Midlands) chapter," Bartlett said. "Emergency services also includes services to military and disaster relief. I'm still a volunteer for that chapter. I'm a liaison for the Red Cross to the state operations center when they open it for hurricanes and other catastrophes."
Bartlett retired from the Army in 1986 and describes himself as an "Army brat." His parents, grandparents and great grandparents were also all Army veterans. The tradition started in 1877 when his great grandfather graduated from West Point.
"I became a tanker because my dad was a tanker," he said. "My dad was a horse cavalryman and a tanker, and took a tank battalion to Korea and fought. Both my granddads were Army, one was field artillery ... my other grandfather was ordnance, and commanded the Watervliet Arsenal (in New York) during World War II."
How to volunteer with the Fort Jackson Red Cross:
The Fort Jackson Red Cross is always looking for volunteers, especially those interested in leadership positions. For a list of current openings and job descriptions, call 751-4329. All volunteers must attend training for the specific role they are volunteering for.