The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
How does one become a Red Cross Volunteer? Each volunteer offers a unique answer to that question, and for Adrian Moseley, the mechanism was an invitation to join from Larry Reed, who at that time was a staff member with the Mid-South Red Cross. The Red Cross needed ham radio operators, and Adrian was one. It was a fine match.
For Adrian, being a Red Cross volunteer is “giving back to the community, giving back to everybody.” A resourceful, technocrat, his first experience with the Red Cross was while he was still in the Army. When working on staff duty, he answered family emergency calls, often contacting the Red Cross’s message service for the armed forces to help solders get home on emergency leave. He remembers “one kid in his unit in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm who’s Dad passed away,” and how important it was for that soldier that the Red Cross took care of his transportation home.
Now after only one-year as a Red Cross volunteer, Adrian is a Disaster Service Technology Lead, an instructor, and a technology problem solver for the Chapter. His technical skills are stellar: Red Cross certified to set up the internet, computers, and phones at a disaster site and ham radio certified, he is able to fix most any piece of equipment from a broken computer screen to a machine failure. If your computer is on the fritz, he will even tether your repair to his pleasant smile: “Be kind to folks” is his motto and he lives it.
A former US Army Military police officer, Adrian began learning about computers by asking questions when his own equipment wasn’t working. Creative and imaginative, he can visualize broken electronic systems and figure out what needs to be done to fix them.
Adrian claims, “I’m pretty much an open book.” Even so, he offers little about his many accomplishments without prodding. Since it is necessary to earn a living, Adrian volunteers in his spare time. He works at Auto Zone in field management, is in school working toward a degree in Architecture, is a City of Germantown Reserve Police Officer, and is Pappa Bear to Jack and Coco, his two rescue dogs. Spare time?
Born and raised on Barbados in the Caribbean, Adrian credits his close relationship with his Dad for his desire to live a life of service and duty. His father, who passed away this year, was a police officer with the Royal Barbados Police force, who held several key positions to include Commandant of the Regional Police Training Center, as well as, a lawyer and a judge, who traveled throughout the Caribbean adjudicating cases.
The best advice Adrian ever received, however, came from another mentor: “When I got promoted, one of my platoon sergeants said, ‘Hey, you’re not one of the guys anymore, but treat your guys with respect and don’t tell them to do something that you would not do,’ and I carry that over. At my work, there might be a day you see me cleaning the restrooms, or taking out the garbage. That way if I tell you to do something, I’ve done it before, so I know what I’m asking. It’s about respect.”
Adrian takes very seriously the model of “care, custody and control” regardless of a person’s circumstance. Part of his military service included a year spent in Iraq. He remembers with shame the mistreatment of detainees: “When I was in Iraq, these soldiers took it upon themselves to disgrace some detainees, took some pictures, and it went on the Internet. That was a bad day for us.” He shook his head a little as he continued, “You are the face of a company.” Referring to his police work in Iraq, he says, “Yes, make sure they don’t do any crazy stuff but still respect them as human beings.”
Adrian recalled, “We had the International Red Cross come in and be sure detainees were fed, housed, taken care of. It was one of my responsibilities, if they (the detainees) needed medical treatment, I’d schedule the treatment they needed, also I followed through on complaints.” Like the Red Cross says, “ We don’t judge who you are; we just take care of you”
While still in the army, he was a “single soldier” advocate and problem solver. When interviewed by a newspaper about his service to the soldiers, he was asked if he wanted awards for his work and he replied, “No, if the soldiers are happy, it’s good enough for me.” He continued, “Same thing here, if my coworkers are happy, if the clients at the Red Cross are happy, and Jeanna, Laura, and the other personnel are not pulling their hair out because their computers are not working, that’s good enough for me.”
Story Credit: Kathleen Bradley/American Red Cross