Elizabeth Tyler questioned herself while considering her husband's suggestion to become an American Red Cross volunteer.
"At first I wondered, 'What do I have to offer?'" said Tyler, 52, of New Oxford. "But I really love this community. I love getting out there and helping people. I'm not working, so I am able to give a lot of time."
Since 2009, Tyler has been a volunteer with the York-Adams Chapter of the American Red Cross. She has volunteered with its food pantry, blood services, military casework and local disaster teams.
Tyler also is a disaster team coordinator for the Hanover area and is registered to help in national disasters.
She also is a driver in a Red Cross program that provides veterans rides to their appointments at Lebanon Veterans Administration Hospital in Lebanon County.
Tyler will be recognized for her volunteerism during the 21st annual Four Chaplains Prayer Breakfast at 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, at the Yorktowne Hotel, 48 E. Market St. in York City.
The breakfast is held to commemorate the sacrifices of four chaplains who sacrificed their lives to save servicemen during World War II.
"Best choice:" Tyler will receive the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Membership, said Allan Dameshek, a member of the prayer breakfast committee that selected Tyler from a field of 15 honor nominees.
"She stood out because of her contribution to the world, because of her volunteering to help veterans," said Dameshek, of York Township. "She was clearly the best choice for the year."
Dameshek said he believes Tyler is the first person from the Hanover area to receive Four Chaplains recognition.
Tyler is a "volunteer superstar," a special person who has passion for her community, said Matt Leininger, chapter executive with the local Red Cross.
"She has a heart of gold filled with compassion," he said. "When I was thinking about nominating someone for the Four Chaplains, my thoughts kept coming back to Elizabeth Tyler."
Tyler is married to Larry Tyler, who is retired from the U.S. Navy. They have four children and a grandchild. She said she is still shocked about being chosen for a Four Chaplains award.
"I was reading about the four chaplains and seeing what they did in giving up their lives for other men," she said. "Getting the award is just a huge honor."
The background: The Legion of Honor membership recognizes those who show the spirit of self-sacrifice, volunteerism and brotherhood, all in the spirit of the four chaplains who died during World War II.
They were aboard the troop ship Dorchester when it was torpedoed Feb. 3, 1943, by a German submarine and sank off the coast of Greenland. The chaplains - who gave their life jackets to other servicemen trying to escape the sinking ship - linked arms and prayed together as the vessel sank.
One of the chaplains was Rabbi Alexander Goode, who resigned his post at local Temple Beth Israel to serve as a military chaplain. Goode Elementary School in York City is named for him.
The chaplains who died with him are the Rev. Johnny Washington, a Catholic priest, and two Protestant ministers, the Rev. George L. Fox and the Rev. Clark V. Poling.
If you go: The 21st annual Four Chaplains Prayer Breakfast is at 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, at the Yorktowne Hotel, 48 E. Market St. in York City.
The event's main speaker is Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Howard D. Stendahl, who is stationed at the
As U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains, Stendahl is senior pastor of more than 680,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the U.S. and overseas. He leads 2,000 Air Force chaplains and chaplains' assistants.
Other breakfast participants are the Alexander D. Goode Elementary School Select Chorus and the William Penn Senior High School Army JROTC.
Proceeds from the breakfast go toward York City Dollars for Scholars designated for William Penn Senior High School graduates who attended Goode school.
This year's program will be dedicated to the memory of Doris "Dorrie" Leader, a community advocate who died in 2012 at age 89. She was a past recipient of the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor.
To purchase prayer breakfast tickets, costing $15 per person, call Michelle Bunty at 854-4105, or mail a check - payable to the "Four Chaplains Fund" - to Lutheran Social Services Foundation, 1050 Pennsylvania Ave., York 17404.
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at email@example.com.