Navy veteran utilizes military experience to help as volunteer for Red Cross

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Service in the military provides many valuable skills. Navy veteran Kurt Holtzclaw is using those skills to volunteer and help make a difference with the Red Cross in Southern California.

"It matched a lot of the skills sets that I had when I was in the military as well as the skillset I had when I worked for the V.A.," said Holtzclaw.

He began volunteering at the West Los Angeles VA hospital in early 2020, but because of the pandemic the program was halted. However he didn't let that stop him. He rapidly switched gears by joining the Red Cross. He delivers current health information about military family members to service men and women across the world.

"It's a very meaningful type of volunteer work; you're meeting great people, you're meeting people from all different walks of life," said Holtzclaw. "They really need our help, too, and it's very gratifying."

The Red Cross values Holtzclaw's experience in the military, making it easier to relate to military families

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"Just being able to have that perspective of they have served, they know a little bit better about how to maybe approach a family member right, or how to approach a veteran or an active service member -- it just brings a lot of knowledge," said Jocelyn Torres, Red Cross volunteer.

Holtzclaw has worn multiple hats at the Red Cross, from helping people get prepared for disasters to delivering lifesaving blood to hospitals throughout Southern California.

"You wouldn't believe how many people and how many veterans really are humble in receiving care or receiving information from the American Red Cross," said Holtzclaw. "They really appreciate our work."

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