Armond Mascelli was just a kid right out of college when he went to work at the Red Cross. First in Vietnam during the war. He would spend 42 years at the Red Cross.
"I never knew what my day was going to be until I got up and turned on the news," he says.
Mascelli helped with the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.
Next week, Mascelli retires as Vice President of Disaster Operations at the Red Cross.
"First thing is just the basic human need - food, clothing, shelter," says Mascelli.
He says that no matter what disaster the Red Cross is responding to, he has noticed two common themes. One is that people are compassionate. The second, he says, is that Americans, in particular, really have a desire to help those in need.
Mascelli even met his wife, Kathy, at a disaster. She was a volunteer after the 1977 Johnstown, Pa. flood.
"I ended up staying there a long period of time," Mascelli says. "One thing led to another and we started having a conversation. I think about a year later, we got married."
Looking back, Mascelli says, "I just feel fortunate that I was able to do something that I thought was meaningful, that had a lot of purpose. Something that was personally satisfying, professionally satisfying."