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BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws

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kimmers 03 Dec 00 - 09:29 PM
Sorcha 03 Dec 00 - 09:58 PM
Dale Rose 03 Dec 00 - 10:11 PM
Troll 03 Dec 00 - 10:22 PM
mg 03 Dec 00 - 11:43 PM
Troll 04 Dec 00 - 12:02 AM
Gervase 04 Dec 00 - 05:41 AM
Troll 04 Dec 00 - 09:24 AM
mousethief 04 Dec 00 - 01:06 PM
GeorgeH 04 Dec 00 - 01:19 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 04 Dec 00 - 01:23 PM
IvanB 04 Dec 00 - 01:27 PM
Liz the Squeak 04 Dec 00 - 01:36 PM
wildlone 04 Dec 00 - 02:07 PM
kimmers 04 Dec 00 - 02:48 PM
Troll 05 Dec 00 - 10:17 AM
Hollowfox 05 Dec 00 - 01:26 PM
kimmers 06 Dec 00 - 01:11 AM
Ebbie 06 Dec 00 - 01:33 AM
GUEST 06 Dec 00 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Lyle 06 Dec 00 - 11:33 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 06 Dec 00 - 11:44 AM

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Subject: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: kimmers
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 09:29 PM

My mother-in-law, whom I generally regard as rather paranoid and suspicious, went off on a tirade against the American Red Cross last weekend when they were here visiting us. She's had a chip on her shoulder about the ARC for years, ever since her father was serving overseas in WWII and the ARC supposedly failed to get a crucial message through to him (his mother had died, and he didn't find out till he got home).

That bit certainly may be true, and we'll never know the whole story of how the message went astray, but my mother-in-law goes a couple of steps further. She mutters darkly of rumors that the ARC was only claiming to give away coffee-n-donuts to the servicemen and in reality was charging for the refreshments. She also likes to imply that the Red Cross 'girls', as she called them, were really only there to seduce the servicemen. There was more, but I had to change the subject before a major argument erupted.

Of course, this woman also won't have a microwave oven in her house because 'everyone knows' they cause cancer, and thinks that eating mushrooms causes yeast infections because, hey, it's all fungus, right? I don't for a minute believe her accusations against the Red Cross, but I'd sure like some material to use in defense of this fine institution. Anybody else heard of these rumors?

Kimmers


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 09:58 PM

Yes. My dad served in Japan just after the Armistice, and also later,in the '50s, he was a civilian disaster rescue worker. Tornadoes, etc. He said he would give the ARC his blood, but nothing else--no money, no goods, etc. because they did sell the things that were donated. Don't know about the "girls" part, tho, and I don't know how true the selling sandwiches,etc. part is.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Dale Rose
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 10:11 PM

I don't think they are all rumors. My stepfather who was in Burma during the war never had a good thing to say about the Red Cross. He said just about anything the soldiers got from them they had to pay for. Now the Salvation Army, on the other hand, he praised highly for their service to the troops.

That is not to say that the Red Cross has NEVER done good things ~~ I have first hand knowledge of their help during the Flood of 93, freely given and thankfully received.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Troll
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 10:22 PM

My dad was in India and Burma in WWII and he had little use for the ARC, He said that they sold cigaretts to the GI's that were clearly marked, Gift Of The US Tobacco Industry To American Servicemen. Not For Re-sale.
I think he also mentioned coffee and donuts being sold, but I'm positive about the cigaretts.
I will also say that they were of no assistance to me the one time I asked for help in the Navy. My dad was going from assignment in Germany to Viet Nam and I wanted to see him before he went. My request for leave got held up and I appealed to the Red Cross for help for compassionate reasons. They wouldn't even talk to me.
I finally got it worked out and we had a short visit but no thanks to the ARC.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: mg
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 11:43 PM

I beg to differ. There is truth to what your MIL says...the Red Cross was forced to charge for donuts and perhaps other things for reasons I can't remember but was officially tought about in OCS. I would just flat out tell your MIL that about the other "services" that unless she has proof she is committing the sin of slander, and very serious slander at that. I worked closely with Red Cross stateside in the Vietnam war. Those overseas did a tremendous amount of good for the military personnel, including going out to remote fire stations with no weapons and no protective gear. I have the highest respect for the men in the US I worked with and the women I have met since who served overseas in the most dismal of places. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Troll
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 12:02 AM

Mary, I cannot dispute your claims regarding the Red Cross in Viet Nam but I know what the Red cross DIDN"T do for me in Norfolk Va. in 1966.
As far as my information regarding WWII, it is anecdotal but I have heard it from WWII vets other than my father. They uniformly stated that the Red Cross sold "free" cigaretts to the GIs.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Gervase
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 05:41 AM

Bloody strange!
In my family the Red Cross were always the good guys and the Sally Army the baddies. My mother was always very short with the Salvation Army when they came rattling the tins, saying huffily: "They had the gall to sell all those cigarettes they were given in the Great War which were supposed to be handed out to the troops."
The Red Cross, however, could do no wrong.
Maybe we have the makings of an urban myth here - "the charity that flogged the fags it was given"


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Troll
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 09:24 AM

EH!
Could be. Anyone else have anything?

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 01:06 PM

I have a related question. There's a Leadbelly song in which he says, "I ain't goin' down to no Red Cross store." It sounds from the song like he has a major chip on his shoulder against the RC, but I never could figure out why. I wonder if this is related?

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: GeorgeH
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 01:19 PM

With respect to all participants . . anecdotal evidence about incidents in WWII have very little relevence to todays Red Cross. I can't vouch directly for the US 'arm' but I do have many first- and second-hand accounts of genuine "good works" in recent times, at home and abroad. Certainly many of their helpers are upper middle class matrons who can REALLY get up my nose at times, but that's very much the trivial end of what they do. And their management has changed completely since WW-II.

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 01:23 PM

Red Cross sucks!!! just my opinion, no slander in that eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: IvanB
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 01:27 PM

My wife is an after-hours volunteer for the ARC in the Armed Forces Emergency Services area. Troll, I don't know the circumstances of your case, but I do know one thing that the ARC workers are trained very emphatically to tell callers is that, although the ARC can pass messages, etc., ALL leave decisions are up to the military. There is no way ARC can 'approve' military leave for any purpose whatsoever.

For the most part, ARC's role is in acting as an official conduit for varification that an emergency (death, serious illness, etc.) does in fact exist. Once that has been done it's up to the military to act on that information.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 01:36 PM

Regretably there are documented incidents where Red Cross workers were accused and found guilty of selling gifts, it happened in WWI as well. There are also far greater numbers of documented incidents where members of the Red Cross of all nationalities, and that includes the so called enemy of the time, performed above and beyond the call of duty, risking injury, death, defamity and worse to bring aid to others. There is no such thing as a totally uncorrupt organisation, everyone succumbs to temptation sooner or later, even if it the temptation to put food into other people's bellies.

And the Sally Army ain't above suspicion either!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: wildlone
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 02:07 PM

kimmers,My mother who was in the British forces in WWII but she did work at one time with the Americans in a joint SIB/OSS operation [the story was told in The Third Man] has nothing but good to say about the ARC and the Salvation Army
She is 74 years old rides pillion on my BMW and uses a micro wave.
dave


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: kimmers
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 02:48 PM

Thanks for all of the info. We may never get this cleared up, and I would agree that the ARC of today is probably a different organization than the one it was in WWII.

I was just so startled by my mother-in-law's vehemence on the subject. I knew that she was suspicious of all public do-gooder organizations (they're all guvmint plots, don't ya know) but I had no idea her attitude extended to non-profit foundations like the ARC. Come to think of it, she doesn't think much of the Salvation Army either.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Troll
Date: 05 Dec 00 - 10:17 AM

IvanB, I was trying to get the Red Cross to verify that my father had received orders to Viet Nam from his old assignment in Germany. I had not seen him in two years. My Division was short-handed but I was told that if I could get Red Cross verification, they would let me go
As I said, they wouldn't even give me the time of day. It wasn't a death or illness and that was that, they were tired of us sailors thying to us them just to get special leave, etc. And this was the asst. director. The director was "not available."
I finally did get my leave approved through my great-uncle, a reserve captain in the Naval Chaplains Corps. He called an Admiral he knew and so on down the line to my ship. I got to see my dad while he was in transit to 'Nam.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Hollowfox
Date: 05 Dec 00 - 01:26 PM

Kimmers, rather than get in an argument(sometimes that's a project in itself with in-laws, I know), you might want to hear her out. She sounds like a bountiful source of folklore/rumor/urban legend, especially from the WWII era.Does she also believe that aluminum cookware is dangerous?(The best reason I got for this was because an aluminum pan tarnishes if you boil eggs in them, therefore there must be something wrong with the pan.)
Mousethief, apparently during World War I, the Red Cross "store" was used as an army recruiting station. I found this out from Michael Cooney's album on Folk-Legacy,"The Cheese Stands Alone".


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: kimmers
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 01:11 AM

Hollowfox, she not only believes aluminum is dangerous, she thinks that non-stick pans are carcinogenic. I sometimes wonder what she actually *does* eat.

But I don't actually argue with her, not to her face. I nod and smile and grouse about it afterwards. Peace must be kept.

She does have a lot of information, but it tends to be tremendously biased. I'm a skeptic; she believes everything she reads as long as it doesn't come from the "liberal press".


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 01:33 AM

I don't use alumin(i)um because I figure they can't have it both ways. When you're anemic, doctors tell you to use cast iron in cooking, that small as the amounts are, they add up.

We need iron in our system. We don't need aluminum. If we can get infinitesimal amounts of iron by cooking in iron pots, we can get infinitesimal amounts of aluminum by cooking in aluminum pots.

For the industry to say that no significant amount of aluminum enters our food, then no significant amount of iron enters our food. They can't have it both ways.

So I don't think that resistance against aluminum is necessarily a sign of significant mental deterioration. :) Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 11:25 AM

So if you cook with aluminum, you ingest some of it? Well I'll be damned!! All these years I've been told I've got lead in my ass and now I find out it's aluminum!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 11:33 AM

Unfortunately, rumors spread like wildfire in the military, especially in times of war when there thousands of draftees. I've been there. I've seen ARC do marvelous things for the troops, and I've seen the Salvation Army do marvelous things for the troops. And on occasion, I've seen each of them do something that an individual service person didn't like. Unfortunately, it is the latter that gets remembered and talked about. It's no fun nor great conversation to talk a year later about how good one or the other organizations were, but makes great conversation to talk about a single incident where they were bad. Then the next person has to tell one worse incident to keep things going, and pretty soon it becomes an urban legend.

I take my hat off to both of these organizations.

Lyle


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Subject: RE: BS: The Red Cross, WWII, and my in-laws
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 11:44 AM

Perhaps one day someone will write a book about the tainted blood scandal, and the equipment and supplies given and sold to dubious recipients (don't want a slander suit, they have more money than I do) but I doubt it. Yes the Red Cross has some decent people, and does some good work; doesnt excuse the bad though does it? The Salvation Army don't drink or use tobacco but sold their "rations" to raise money to help the poor with stupid things like food and clothing. yours, Aye. Dave


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