87-year-old Red Cross volunteer ready to help with Hurricane Florence relief efforts

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ASHLAND, Ohio - As Hurricane Florence moves closer to the Carolinas, Northeast Ohio Red Cross volunteers are on standby waiting to go wherever they are needed to help.

That includes Bob Schneider of Ashland, whose bags are already packed.

"I'm ready. I thought I was going to go yesterday, but we are like in reserve," said Schneider on Wednesday.

At 87 years old, Schneider has already been to six or seven national disasters as a volunteer, driving a food truck and doing whatever else is needed. He went to Texas for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2008.

"That was sad. We drove alongside that river and, you know, the houses weren't real expensive houses, but it was home to those people and they had their furniture piled up by the curb piled six feet high," Schneider said.


Schneider chuckles when asked about his age. A former U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier, he left the Army after serving 37 years.

"When I turned 60, they had to kick me out... Made my last jump at 59," he said.

During his service, he spent much of his time at Ft. Bragg in Fayetville, North Carolina, which could get hit hard.

"You can't help but feel sorry for them. People are the same all over, basically," Schneider said.

On Wednesday, he was checking his phone frequently ready to go again.

"I enjoy it and the people as a whole are all so thankful. You know, we bring the food out and it's, 'God bless you,' and they are really thanking you a lot," Schneider said.

During his volunteer service, Schneider said he has seen others his age or older pitching in, and has also seen people with handicaps doing what they can to help. He also said he is not close to calling it quits.

"My wife is trying to decide that for me now, but as long as I'm able to, I will, I guess."

Continuing coverage of Hurricane Florence here

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