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Military experience helps North Huntingdon native in Red Cross role

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Timothy M. Yorty
Timothy M. Yorty

A North Huntingdon native with a decade of military experience, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been hired by the American Red Cross to oversee the distribution of shelter, food and supplies when disaster strikes in western Pennsylvania.

Timothy M. Yorty, 35, is the new mass care/logistics specialist for the relief agency's 25-county western Pennsylvania region.

“Tim's military experience will be invaluable in ensuring our region has the capacity to operate emergency shelters in the event of major disasters along with the necessary supplies to equip the shelters and care for the residents,” said Victor Roosen, a regional disaster and program officer for the Red Cross.

“He has served as a military logistics management coordinator under extreme conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he is well-prepared to take on the challenges of the mass care/logistics portion of the Red Cross disaster services in western Pennsylvania,” Roosen said.

Yorty has been a member of the Army Reserves since 2004 and holds the rank of sergeant.

He served with the 199th Movement Control Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baghdad, Iraq, and with the 888th Movement Control Team during Operation Enduring Freedom in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He is currently attached to the 377th Engineer Company in Butler.

Yorty said being deployed while serving in the military has helped him understand what people are experiencing during a disaster.

“I know what it's like to not have all my stuff with me or to go without shelter or something as basic as a hot shower,” he said. “So it gives me great satisfaction to be in a position to provide humanitarian aid to people when they are faced with difficulties of a disaster.”

He said the logistical training he received in the military has provided him with “a solid foundation” for the process of transporting and setting up the Red Cross' mobile shelters and kitchens to disaster sites “in a short amount of time.”

“While serving in Bagdad I had to work with a lot of other units to coordinate the movement of resources over a large area,” Yorty said. “Now I'll be working with disaster control managers throughout our region.”

Yorty lives in North Huntingdon with his wife, Lisa, and his two children, Collin, 14, and Kayla, 16. He is working toward an online degree in criminal justice from Grantham University, which is based in Lenexa, Kan.

Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2360, or at

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