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One Man’s Legacy Lives on in Baghdad
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Leslie A. Smith
 
January 8, 2010

For nearly 40 years, Gary Trotter lived and breathed the American Red Cross. During his lengthy tenure with the organization, Trotter lived alongside the U.S. military and worked with other Red Cross staff to handle emergency communications between the troops and their families at home.

Beginning in 1970, Trotter criss-crossed the globe in his roles with Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF). The list of his assignments reads like a geography lesson: North Carolina, Vietnam, Florida, Georgia, Germany, Japan, Louisiana, Saudi Arabia, Missouri, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo. His last assignments were in Iraq, working in Baghdad in 2005, and in Tikrit from 2007 to 2008.

After leaving Tikrit and returning to his assigned station in Okinawa, Japan, Trotter passed away in August of 2008. 

In Baghdad, Trotter’s memory continues to inspire. Red Cross staff decided to dedicate a special room for service members to view births and other special events over Skype/web conferencing and to record DVDs to send to their families. The room is named the “Gary K. Trotter Inspiration Room” in remembrance of Trotter’s committed service to the Red Cross and military members. 

A dedication event for the Inspiration Room took place January 2 at the Red Cross office in Baghdad, with the 561st RSG Deputy Garrison Commander participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Along with some new furniture for service members’ comfort, the room houses photos and memorial letters about Trotter, which give tribute to his character and to his love of the Red Cross.

After the ceremony, soldiers toured the new room, taking a moment to reflect on the many photos and letters dedicated to a man who was an inspiration to those around him. 

Colonel Novotny and Red Cross Team Leader Cecil Goodman cut the ribbon on January 2 to officially open the 'Gary K. Trotter Inspiration Room' in Baghdad.
Colonel Novotny and Red Cross Team Leader Cecil Goodman cut the ribbon on January 2 to officially open the “Gary K. Trotter Inspiration Room” in Baghdad.
Framed by photos and letters dedicated to Trotter, a soldier tries out the computer in the new room.
Framed by photos and letters dedicated to Trotter, a soldier tries out the computer in the new room.
Soldiers study the photos and letters dedicated to Trotter, a Red Cross staff member for nearly four decades.
Soldiers study the photos and letters dedicated to Trotter, a Red Cross staff member for nearly four decades.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.


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