Veterans helping veterans: Father-son duo work with American Red Cross to give back

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Saturday, November 9, 2019
Father-son duo work with American Red Cross to give back
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Father-son duo work with American Red Cross to give back. Jeannette Reyes reports on Action News at 5:30 on Nov. 8, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A local father and son duo have dedicated their lives to serving others, even after serving their country.

The veterans found a way to continue their mission of helping fellow vets, through their work with the American Red Cross.

"I enjoy helping people," said William Rodebaugh II, a Red Cross volunteer.

William Rodebaugh II and William Rodebaugh III are both veterans. William Rodebaugh III, who goes by Bill, served in the Army with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. William Rodebaugh II served in Vietnam.

Though they are no longer active duty, they actively work to provide much-needed assistance and services to their brothers and sisters through their roles at the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania.

"Sometimes it takes a vet to talk to another vet because other people don't realize what you've been through or what you've gone through," said William Rodebaugh II., Regional Volunteer Engagement Lead.

William, who is a volunteer with the Red Cross, says his experience has proven to be invaluable when it comes to connecting with vets reluctant to accept things like counseling for PTSD or help to manage the challenges of reintegration. Having been through much of the same, he says this is personal.

"We will never let another veteran go through what we went through when we came home," said Williams Rodebaugh II.

The pair have built a bond that's borne out of shared painful experiences and strengthened through a passion to help others.

"It's hard for me not to break down when you see your father get emotional about something when the person that you care about cares about something that deeply," said William Rodebaugh III.

They admit there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to helping veterans. So, as Veteran's Day approaches, they encourage their brothers and sisters who need it to take the first step and ask for help.

"I know that there's a veteran out there that needs my help and as strong as I feel that way, he feels that I don't need that help so its trying to break that wall down and saying, 'Hey dude. I'm here to help you, let me help you,'" said William Rodebaugh II.

If you're a veteran or know of a veteran who might be interested in the Red Cross' services download their app. It's called Hero Care it's for veterans, military members, and their families.