Robert Young, A History of Service

BobYoungRobert “Bob” Young is an American Red Cross treasure. He humbly comments, “If I can provide a helping hand and a word of comfort, then I’ve done my job.” This October will mark 75 years of volunteer service to the American Red Cross where he has “done his job”. From the third grade knitting squares for blankets for World War II service men, to being one of the first responders after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida, or operating the radio after Hurricane Katrina to today responding to house fires: Bob is doing his job. What many might not know about Bob Young is his history of serving our country.

Earlier this year Bob Young participated in the Veterans History Project. Our American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces volunteers, Patricia Hartl and Diana McLeary, were privileged to interview Bob and learn about his service outside the American Red Cross. The interview captured in a video was submitted to the Library of Congress to archive his experience as an American wartime veteran so that future generations could hear a personal account directly from a veteran about the realities of war.

So as we near the anniversary of Bob’s 75 years of volunteer service to the American Red Cross, we would like to share some of that rich military history with you.

During the German occupation Bob enlisted in the army and managed to make his way to England after an officer discovered he could ride horses. This discovery placed him in the House Guard for England. He would laugh to himself as the American tourists would comment on the “English guard on horseback”. He was very serious, however, when he was honored by King George with a medal for his service.

Bob attended Embry Riddle after the German occupation and became a pilot. He reenlisted and took part in the Korean War and was a pilot during the Vietnam Conflict. One of his favorite memories during this period came while he was on detail to the White House and President Harry Truman would regularly come out the back door for a walk and wave to him and ask how he was doing.
As a recipient of too many medals and ribbons to remember what they are all for, he continues to honor our veterans with his work with the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. Bob Young is not just a treasure of the American Red Cross; he is a treasure to all our veterans and American military history.
You can watch Bob’s interview for the Library of Congress online at:

M. Jonas
Red Cross, SAF Volunteer

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