Brotherhood Found at the Red Cross

John Martinez, Felix Rodriguez and Jose Martinez are known as The Triplets.

By Taylor Poisall, Red Cross Public Affairs

A lifetime of service and a duty to serve their community are two things these three volunteers share — but the similarities don’t end there. Born seven days apart in the community of Rio Grande Valley in Texas, John, Jose and Felix found their way to the Central Valley of California.

John and Jose Martinez, twin brothers, joined the American Red Cross in August 2017 after a career in the military and the Fire Department. Together, they joined the Disaster Action Team, where they provide emotional support, financial assistance and information to help families begin the process of recovery after a home fire. They also trained to be disaster responders to major disasters like hurricanes and wildfires.

Felix Martinez also joined the Red Cross as a volunteer in late 2017, where he trained to become an Emergency Response Vehicle driver and sheltering volunteer.

Despite all these similarities, the trio did not meet until they were deployed to North Carolina to help the communities affected by Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 Hurricane that damaged or destroyed thousands of households in 2018.

John and Jose en route to Hurricane Florence in 2018.

When these three come together, you can often hear their laughter before you can see them.

When asked about some of their favorite Red Cross stories, Jose shared, “When we arrived at the staff shelter in North Carolina, we quickly found out there was one coffee pot to serve 100+ Red Crossers. You need lots of coffee during a disaster. So we walked down to Walmart and bought a coffee pot, toaster and microwave and everyone was so grateful. We later found out the story evolved into us ‘risking our lives for the pillows and kitchen goods’. We got a good chuckle out of that.”

On the right, Felix and Jose are pictured with fellow Red Crossers in Florida for Hurricane Michael relief efforts. The pair teamed up to drive the Emergency Response Vehicle through damaged neighborhoods to deliver crucial emergency supplies and meals to hurricane survivors.

Once they returned from their two deployments in North Carolina and Florida, they started having lunch together once a month and quickly became “the Triplets”. All three served in different branches of the military – John in the Marines, Jose in the Navy, and Felix in the Army. They don’t let the competition between branches get between them, but they will throw in some jokes and jabs to fellow service members often.

We can share laughs and stories together after our years of volunteering together. We’ve had some good times over the years. It’s hard work, but it makes it easier to have your friends alongside you.

Felix Rodriguez
Jose and John with Jesse Sandoval, Disaster Program Manager

Between these three incredible volunteers, they have served more than 4,500 volunteer hours and plenty more hours on-call. Thanks to their dedication to the Red Cross mission, they have supported hundreds of families affected by home fires, distributed thousands of emergency relief supplies to disaster victims and veterans, mentored new team members and more.

Thank you John, Jose and Felix for your service to our country and our communities! You make us Red Cross Proud!

Every day, Red Cross volunteers across the country support military members, veterans and their families before, during and even after their deployment. This #VeteransDay, you can honor those who served by giving your time too. Sign up to volunteer with the Red Cross and start helping support military families today

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