Red Cross Heroes - Robert Via

(HawaiiNewsNow) - This guy was a lot of fun to talk to. Let me introduce you to "Uncle Bob", our Oahu volunteer of the year.

Robert Via began volunteering with the American Red Cross in 1951. While stationed in the Army in Japan. Robert,  aka "Uncle Bob" or "handsome" as he prefers realized that even though he could move through the water he didn't know how to swim with proper technique.

So he learned. In fact he mastered it and "Uncle Bob" became the water safety director for various military branches, the UN and the Red Cross.

"It's a fun thing, enjoyable, but dangerous too. You gotta be very careful." 

Eventually Uncle Bob retired and became the Kaneohe District Park pool manager and taught kids to swim, and water safety instructors and lifeguards lifesaving techniques.

Uncle Bob has logged in over 13,000 volunteer hours teaching Red Cross aquatic lifesaving. He's trained more than 20,000 people how to swim and that number keeps growing and at 85 that's not all he does.

"I play racquetball, I golf a lot.  I go hunting.  I go pig hunting.  I don't use my age I just go and do what I like to do.  If I start to say hey because of my age, I start cutting down."

And we hope he never does. Robert Via is the American Red Cross of Hawaii Oahu Hero of the Year.

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