Red Cross Hires Local Veteran in Rocky Mount

Matthew Warren made the call to serve his country in the beginning of 2008. At age 19, and only one month out of boot camp, Warren was shipped to Sadr City, Iraq. In Iraq,Warren said he was privileged to be with “the best group of men to serve our country, Charlie Company 1-6 INF.”

New Response Specialist, Matthew Warren

New Response Specialist, Matthew Warren

Warren, from Rocky Mount, NC, was with the company for the last six months of a 15 month tour. In Iraq he held roles in operations. His tasks varied from leading patrols of 10-20 men to maintaining and preserving over $1 million in sensitive military equipment.

The American Red Cross made its way into Matthew Warren’s life like it does for so many others- swiftly and without pretense. After his first tour in Iraq, Warren was stationed in Germany awaiting deployment to Afghanistan. One day, without warning, Warren learned that he needed to get home quickly for a family member undergoing emergency surgery.

“They [Red Cross] helped me get home within 72 hours,” Warren said. “They even paid for my plane ticket telling me, ‘Don’t worry about it Matthew, just get home.’”Warren said that this was the first “imprint” that the American Red Cross made on his life.

Warren later concluded that this would not be his only encounter with the American Red Cross. “I realized I still had a calling to answer too,” he said. “I fought for our freedom but I still felt I needed something, so here I am at the Red Cross helping people find hope when all seems lost.”

 On July 29th, Warren was hired as a Response Specialist in the Frederick E. Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross. Warren’s responsibilities with the American Red Cross will range from engaging volunteers to meeting and preparing with local directors for the upcoming hurricane season.

The American Red Cross plans on adding many more veterans like Matthew Warren. In 2012 the American Red Cross made a commitment to hire 1,000 veterans by the end of 2014.  In a recent nine month stretch, from the middle of 2012 to the beginning of 2013, nearly 6 percent of all American Red Cross hires were veterans.

Matt Warren (left) with fellow Red Cross volunteers and staff.

Matt Warren (left) with fellow Red Cross volunteers and staff.

In honor of this pledge, the American Red Cross and the Department of Veterans Affairs recently signed a memorandum of understanding which signified the commitment of the American Red Cross to hire veterans.

The American Red Cross is also in partnership with VA for Vets, an organization started in 2011 that helps veterans in their career search after they return home.  VA for Vets enables veterans to successfully join the civilian workforce after they return home from their deployments.

By backing their commitments with action the American Red Cross continues to demonstrate their desire in helping veterans reintegrate successfully back into the workforce. To find out more about the Red Cross and their service to the Armed Forces please visit redcross.org.

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