The Central California Region recently welcomed Jose Molina to our team as our new Service to the Armed Forces Program Manager. Molina retired from the Navy after 21 years as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. He earned his AA in Business Administration through Coastline Community College and is currently attending the University of Phoenix pursuing his degree program in Business Management. He comes to us from the Central Valley, where he lives with his wife, also a Navy Veteran, and their three children. We asked him some questions to get to know our new team member this National Veteran & Military Families Month.
When you served in the military, did you ever receive Red Cross services, or cross paths with the Red Cross?
Yes. During my first enlistment, I received a Red Cross emergency message in June of 2002. My mother was in the hospital with a terminal condition and the Red Cross got a hold of me. I was stationed in California at that time and was able to catch a flight to Texas and got to speak to her the same day I landed from my flight. That same night, she ended up passing away. I will never forget that the Red Cross helped me have one last face-to-face conversation with my mother before her passing.
What is the biggest takeaway from your time in the military? What do you remember most?
A huge takeaway from serving in the military was that I was able to make a lot of friends who I still keep in contact with. Friends from all over the nation. Also, with being in for 21 years, I was able to mentor, motivate, and lead young men and women who have become leaders themselves and have continued to shape young men and women into becoming leaders of the future.
How does it feel to know that you are able to serve your country a second time through your work as the Red Cross SAF Manager? Are there any parallels between your military service and the Red Cross?
Being able to continue my service through the Red Cross has made me feel like I have a purpose of serving not only 1 branch of service, but now have the honor and privilege to assist all branches of services whether they are active-duty, veterans, and their families.
What are you looking forward to at the Red Cross?
While at the Red Cross, I look forward to providing awareness of the programs Service to the Armed Forces and International Services has to offer those in the community, and to be there when assistance is needed throughout our communities.
The Red Cross Central California Region is proud to support America’s military and veteran families, and serve those who have served our nation. Are you looking for ways to give back to our nation’s heroes and their families? You can honor those who have served by giving your time as a Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces volunteer. Sign up to volunteer with the Red Cross and start helping military families today. Visit redcross.org/volunteer to learn more. To learn more about Red Cross programs and services available to military members, veterans and their families, visit redcross.org/military.