In our culture today, we hear a lot about heroes. The heroes of comic books and movies can leap tall buildings or stop a speeding train. We understand those extreme tales of heroism are created; however, James Newman doesn’t need a super power to make a difference. He has been saving lives as an American Red Cross Volunteer for over 50 years. What started as a donation of a pint of blood in 1955 turned into a journey that led James Newman to make the American Red Cross an integral part of his life.
Knowing that a donation of blood could save lives, James began volunteering during blood drives and supporting the American Red Cross in his community. Throughout his decades of service, James went on to service as secretary for the Service to Armed Forces, teach first aid techniques and lead Disaster Action Teams during local and national disaster situations.
From his first deployment in Hurricane Andrew to his last in Harding, Iowa, James passion for helping others is evident. His roles in the American Red Cross and his community are invaluable, but it is his experiences that make James Newman a hero.
One of his most memorable moments occurred on July 5,1967. The first call he received was from the rescue squad asking for assistance at the Asheville airport where a Jet had collided with a single engine aircraft. James received a call from the Red Cross, they created a plan for James to report to the National Guard Armory as soon as he was able. James was tasked with setting up a site for the individuals onboard the aircrafts and the visiting areas for families affected by the accident. A true hero makes a difference in the moment of tragedy. On that day and countless others, James Newman made a difference. As a volunteer for the American Red Cross, he was able to provide comfort and aid during the most horrific moment in a family’s life. The Red Cross can’t make a disaster go away, but amazing volunteers like James Newman are there to walk individuals and families through devastating circumstances.
At 93 years of age, James Newman has truly lived with a hero’s heart. Born in Sevier county Tennessee, he served in World War II as part of the occupation in Japan and graduated from University of Tennessee with a degree in chemical engineering. In addition to serving his country through the military, James is a charter member of the Blue Ridge Fire Department, a member of the Henderson County Rescue Squad, the Baptist Men on Disaster, and served as the Civil Preparedness Coordinator. James resides in Henderson County with his wife of 68 years, Sarah.
Thank you, James, for your years of services, your dedication, and your willingness to serve. You have honored the Red Cross and thousands of families.