American Red Cross honors Fort Bliss volunteers

Bessie Dodd, who has volunteered for the American Red Cross for 48 years, attends the American Red Cross Fort Bliss Mad Hatter Luncheon at the 1st Armored Division Chapel March 26. Photos by Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff.

Bessie Dodd, who has volunteered for the American Red Cross for 48 years, attends the American Red Cross Fort Bliss Mad Hatter Luncheon at the 1st Armored Division Chapel March 26. Photos by Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff.

By Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff:

Fort Bliss American Red Cross officials had trouble choosing just one person for the organization’s special volunteer awards this year.

“It’s so hard for us to pick one person, because when I look around this room, I see so much energy and love and sense of community that it really brings something special to us,” said Ken Romero, station manager for the American Red Cross of Fort Bliss and William Beaumont Army Medical Center offices, during a volunteer-awards ceremony at the 1st Armored Division Chapel March 26.

The organization honored 260 volunteers who donated 20 hours or more in 2013, and officials read every volunteer’s name before announcing the award winners.

Romero and Mark Matthys, executive director of the American Red Cross El Paso Community Office, announced organization officials had chosen Teresa Pate for the Clara Barton Honor Award for volunteerism, which is the organization’s highest award for volunteerism.

Mark Matthys, executive director of the American Red Cross El Paso Community Office, left, and Ken Romero, station manager for the American Red Cross, Fort Bliss and William Beaumont Army Medical Center offices, stand at the podium during the American Red Cross Fort Bliss Mad Hatter Luncheon at the 1st Armored Division Chapel March 26.

Mark Matthys, executive director of the American Red Cross El Paso Community Office, left, and Ken Romero, station manager for the American Red Cross, Fort Bliss and William Beaumont Army Medical Center offices, stand at the podium during the American Red Cross Fort Bliss Mad Hatter Luncheon at the 1st Armored Division Chapel March 26.

Michael Haslacker received the organization’s health and safety award; Staff Sgt. Bryson Sane, now stationed at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., received the Fort Bliss military volunteer award; Maria Chavez received the disaster services award; Gaetana Broillet received the service to the Armed Forces award; and Maria Watts received the El Paso Red Cross Chapter Support award.

The William Beaumont volunteer award went to Charles Smith, announced Roslyn DuPree, assistant Fort Bliss and William Beaumont station manager.

“He is just an awesome guy. I always just tell him, well, you know, Mr. Smith, I am going to make a clone of you,” DuPree said. “Every time I see him, he is not just a good volunteer. He’s a good man all around.”

Maj. Roger Price, deputy chief of staff at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, said there are more than 100 American Red Cross volunteers at the hospital, and not only do they put in a lot of hours, they also touch a lot of lives.

Everyone at the hospital thanks the volunteers and looks forward to working with them more in the future, Price said.

Romero made sure Bessie Dodd, an American Red Cross volunteer for 48 years, stood up for special recognition.

In an interview, Dodd said volunteering for the Red Cross not only keeps her mind busy, but is simply something she likes to do. “I feel like I’m giving back something for what I’ve received,” she said.

Another reason she has volunteered for the Red Cross is because, if she ever needed a job, her duties have made her well qualified, Dodd said.

“It’s always an outlet, and it keeps your mind going. I like it. I like helping people,” Dodd said.

Maria Chavez, disaster services volunteer of the year, said she enjoys volunteering for the American Red Cross because of the feeling of satisfaction she receives from helping others.

It is good to know she can be of service to others, Chavez said. “Thanks to the volunteers who go out with me and do a great job,” she said.

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