CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Doreen Wilder has a way of lighting up the lobby at Charlotte's VA clinic. As a Red Cross volunteer, she makes sure those who have served are getting back what they've given.
"I think it just comes from you have to have a caring heart," she said.
Service is nothing new for Doreen. She worked in various medical administration roles in the United States Air Force across the country and around the world. She was deployed to Qatar twice and was working in the Pentagon on 9/11. After 24 years, she retired as a decorated colonel.
"I needed something to keep me active because you can't go 1,000 miles to an hour like you are in the military, every day something different a disaster around every corner to staying home and watching the dog," she said.
The respect Doreen has for the veterans she now serves is obvious the moment you meet her. She not only coordinates the volunteer program, but also works to provide recreational activities for the veterans.
"A lot of the ones we help up at the clinic were the Vietnam and Korea era veterans and those are the ones that were least recognized.You just talk with them and you'll hear some of the most amazing stories in your life from these men and women who have experienced things that you can see only on TV, but it's not how it is when you get the first-hand account from them," she said.
No matter the generation or war they may have fought through, Doreen believes every serviceman and woman deserves everything she has to offer.
"It's amazing how so many of them don't want to ask for anything. Well, you don't have to ask for anything, you earned it," she said.
For more information about the Red Cross, click here.