O/T: Old Memories

Page 2 of 2  


I've got two particular, personal memories of the Red Cross: I was stationed at Cherry Point when my father died, and the Red Cross arranged for my notification, leave, and transport to the New York area, all at no cost; a few years years later, the entire block I was living in burned, and my wife and myself got out in the clothing we had on, with much of our cash (pretty much pre-credit card days, and college students to boot) and pretty much all else of value turned to ash, at which time the Red Cross arranged for a place for us to stay, and gave us chits for clothing at a local store, after making sure the store was open. Again, no charge.
I have to wonder about the situations encountered where the Red Cross is said to have charged servicemen for coffee and donuts. My two uncles, one returning from carrier duty in the Atlantic, and one an Army CB tour in the South Pacific, said their Red Cross coffee and buns were free. I can see possibilities where a nickel or dime for a coffee and donut got collected to help supplement overseas offerings. I've heard of a couple of cases where the the payment was voluntary. And I've heard the stories about the Red Cross collecting without any apparent reason, but based on my own experience, and that of my own family members, I have to say I think we're again looking at a part of the story, not the whole thing. Were these fund raising events? Do we know? Did anyone ask, or did they do, as so many of us do, simply get angry without finding out all the facts?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As I understand it the carge for the coffie and donuts was a "local" thing mostly in Europe. The British Red Cross had to charge for the items and the American Red Cross was forced to follow suit. This is what I was told when I was in Europe wearing green.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Charlie Self" wrote

The donuts, coffee, and paperbacks books were free in RVN the one time I saw a contingent of 'Donut Dollies' ... they didn't quite frequent the mostly Vietnamese (all but me) area I was in.
But I do recall that they had the cutest little butts I'd seen in a good while, which was worth a damn sight more than the coffee and donuts at the time.
ARC also did better than FEMA ,when we flooded out a few years back, who were insisting upon giving me a double wide trailer for my driveway ... all 10' x' 15' of it.
I finally gave up when the dude with the new table notebook showed up to do a 'damage assessment' but simply wasn't smart enough to work it. He told me he was getting $100 a house, and he was "doing" 8 to 12 a day.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/11/07
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Working along the gulf coast helping rebuild IT infrastructures after Katrina I met many FEMA people. I'll never forget one FEMA employee, staying in a Biloxi casino hotel with free meals, who said that he was having the time of his life, and said he wished that we'd have a Katrina every year so he could travel more.
Swingman wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lew Hodgett wrote:

I remember my Dad having the exact same sentiments for the same reasons.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
When I was in France near the end of WWll, the Red Cross set up their business and I bought and paid for many do-nuts from them. Today I refuse to give to the Red Cross. I still have a few tickets that I purchased. I wonder if they are still redeemable? George
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
George G wrote:

And while perhaps not hard to understand in the circumstances, as noted earlier in the thread you're carrying the grudge against the wrong folks -- it was US military that made the request to the Red Cross to charge a nominal fee to be in line with the rest of the Allies' (particularly the Brits) policy to try to help minimize the ill-feeling between the various groups that was already extant owing to the significantly higher payrate for GIs.
I just read Churchill's four-volume history of the war last winter and while I don't recall the Red Cross canteens specifically being mentioned, the issue of pay differential and discontent over privileges, etc., was a significant enough item to have come even to the PM's attention. As Eisenhower's later letter (also referenced earlier in the thread) indicates, that policy, not any desire on the part of the Red Cross to try to profit, was the underlying reason.
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Then why is it after over 60 years is the Red Cross apologizing for their actions. They wouldn't even mention it because they figured we would all be dead by now. But some of us are still here and it is coming back to haunt their organization. So easy to blame the government for their actions. George
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Nov 15, 2:11 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (George G) wrote:

Well, there's this from NBC News: http://www.nbc4.com/news/14571907/detail.html A bad decision made 65 years ago still haunts the Red Cross. In 1942, during World War II, the Red Cross was ordered by then-Secretary of War Harold Stimson to charge soldiers a nickel for the doughnuts and coffee that it distributed at "Red Cross clubs" behind the battle lines in parts of Europe.
According to the Red Cross, Stimson's thinking at the time was that non-U.S. allied soldiers had to pay for refreshments, so in the spirit of morale, which Stimson feared was suffering, he ordered American soldiers to pay for refreshments.
The move made soldiers furious. Even today, many of the soldiers tell their families to boycott the Red Cross.
On Monday, as Americans observed Veterans' Day, a day to honor the sacrifices of soldiers, the Red Cross officially apologized.
-----------------
I don't tell anybody what or who they spend their money on. All I'm saying is, it sure sounds to me like it isn't the Red Cross who should bear the blame for all those nickels all those years ago.
Still... they probably should have put up more of a fight. Or maybe given free donuts to the other allies instead. That would have been the nice thing to do.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
George G wrote:

To make a gesture to heal old wounds -- but while real, this is one not of their direct responsibility of causing.
While I don't have a link to an online copy of it, there was, in fact, a directive from Henry Stinson, FDR's Secretary of War, to the Red Cross requesting they establish facilities overseas open to _all_ Allied forces, not just American. Since the Brits and Aussies were being charged by _their_ supported organizations, for overall morale within the Allied forces it was considered mandatory to make things even for the GIs.
As I noted previously, there was discussion all the way to between FDR and WC on the problems of morale owing to the discrepancies between the Yanks and the Brits/Aussies/Candians/etc. that were imperative to try to minimize between them. The Churchill history includes copies of every telegram/letter/memo he wrote during the war years either as embedded in the narrative or in the appendices. It gets to be pretty heavy slogging, but I worked my way through every one before I quit. I remember the issue being raised on more than one occasion. If the action in this case taken by the US inadvertently created ill will against the Red Cross, that was an unintended consequence. (Btw, the sheer amount of seemingly insignificant detail that came to Churchill's attention that one became aware of by reading those supplementary directives is simply mind-boggling that any one person could be so detail oriented while at the same time directing overall attention to the largest scale operations of the war and current and present diplomatic efforts simultaneously.)
Note I'm not saying the RC has no warts -- no organization of that size can avoid the occasional misstep. Nor am I saying the concept of free buns/coffee to the troops during wartime wouldn't have been a good one. It was, however, not within the means of the Brits to provide and so the US went along as best they knew how.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"dpb" wrote:

fact, a

Cross
The operative word is "requesting".
Clearly a case of no gonads on the part of the Red Cross by not telling the gov't to mind it's own business.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lew Hodgett wrote:

Clearly a case of trying to apply present-day quarterbacking on events during WWII -- different time, different place.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think during WWII, it was an unusual event when someone told the Secretary of War to piss off. It was not considered a matter of "gonads" but a matter of not lowering the morale of allies that had already taken one helluva whacking without folding.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Charlie Self wrote:

More to the point, the conduct of the war _was_ the business of the Secretary of War (that's why they called him that), and not of the Red Cross. Further, during WWII, if the Secretary of War "requested" something, compliance wasn't really optional.
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J. Clarke wrote: ...

Well, don't know if it's what you meant or not, but the specific words leave a little bit of the wrong impression at least to me...
The Secretary of War was a Cabinet post which is now known as the Secretary of Defense. The subtlety being he held the same position w/ the same title before war was declared, not just because of the war being waged.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

If you have a point you have not made it.
If the conduct of the war was not the business of the "Secretary of War" then whose business was it?
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J. Clarke wrote:

That point wasn't in question and I intended to add that I agreed with your point that a request was about like "requesting" the kid to take out the trash but failed to do so.
I only wanted to clarify there wasn't a Secretary of War appointed for the war itself, rather it was/is the regular Cabinet post. Most of the regulars here are old enough to know that; who knows who's lurking or from somewhere else?
Coincidentally, I stopped at the library last night -- on the "new book" shelf was a biography of Ike. Thinking of this thread I picked it up. Don't know if this incident is in it or not; probably not, it apparently didn't really build any legs as an issue until after the war when people had time again to indulge in petty grudges... :(
--
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Something else: After I got home to Wisconsin, the Red Cross used to drive around town in their Purple Cadillac displaying their Red Cross symbol on the door. Old Memories ! George
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.