Milwaukee VA Medical Center
Roland Ransom was VA Volunteer of the Year
Roland Ransom’s efforts on behalf of fellow Veterans resulted in his being named a national Volunteer of the Year for Veterans Affairs. Ransom, a Marine Corps Veteran who volunteered at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, died on Dec. 20 at the age of 71.
You can read Roland’s obituary in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.
Roland was featured in the 2018 annual report for the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.
Volunteer of the Year – Roland Ransom
Roland Ransom doesn’t do it for the awards. But his commitment to helping those who served is readily acknowledged by others.
Ransom, a volunteer at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, as well as numerous other community projects for Veterans, was one of two in the nation named the national 2017 Volunteer of the Year for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“I don’t do it for the awards or the honors or anything,” Ransom said. “One, I love to do it, and second, I get my family involved with it. And third, it always feels rewarding to be able to help somebody -- in a personal way, not rewarded with a medal or trophy.”
The 71-year-old Vietnam Veteran, who joined the Marine Corps right out of high school, has volunteered for more than six years at the Milwaukee VA. He has logged more than 500 hours of service.
“This award could not have gone to a more deserving or dedicated volunteer,” said Carrie Lodi, Community Engagement manager. “His willingness to use and share his gifts and abilities has strengthened our mission and the care to our Veterans.”
Ransom was scheduled to receive his award at the 72nd Annual VA Voluntary Service conference in Tampa, Florida, in mid-April, but was unable to attend because his wife was ill.
Lodi accepted the award in Florida on Ransom’s behalf. He was then presented the award by Jim McClain, deputy medical center director, at the local Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon in May.
In addition to VA, Ransom also has been involved with the Honor Flight since its inception, including fund-raising, and arranging for a Knights of Columbus Honor Guard as each group returns to the Milwaukee airport.
“We started with eight guys and I have an email list of over 70 people now,” Ransom said of the Honor Flights. “We’ve been averaging somewhere around 30 Honor Guard members, every Honor Flight, for the past three years.”
On Memorial Day and Fourth of July, Ransom, his granddaughter, and other volunteers place flags on Veteran graves at the Union Grove Cemetery.
He advocates for the Fisher House at public and Knights of Columbus events, helps with USO fund-raising events, and works with getting patients and others to events at the American Legion post in Mukwonago.
His efforts on behalf of Veterans’ and related causes is just the latest in a lifetime of volunteering for Ransom, who retired from Rexnord in Milwaukee after almost 40 years.
“Before this, I had more than 20 years as a volunteer CPR instructor,” he said. “I taught adult, infant and child CPR, and community first aid. A lot of it was at schools and work places.”
The Milwaukee VA thanks, Roland, and all our volunteers who work tirelessly to serve and honor our Veterans!
(from the Milwaukee VA Medical Center 2018 annual report)