What Does the American Red Cross Do for the Armed Services?

Well, actually quite a bit, and we want to make sure active/retired service personnel and their families know what support is available to them. On Friday, December 12th, a small band of Red Cross volunteers attended the National Guard’s retiree luncheon in Raleigh to help get the word out. Joshua Cain, Director of Service to the Armed Forces for the Eastern Region, arranged for the Red Cross to have a booth at this event, which was also attended by other organizations that lend support to National Guard personnel.

Joshua Cain and RC Volunteers

Joshua Cain and Red Cross Volunteers

To most, the Red Cross is associated with disaster relief and blood drives – and rightfully so. Less known are our military-related services, which is unfortunate considering the sacrifices these individuals and their families make for our country. Thankfully, many of the National Guard retirees we spoke to on Friday had some knowledge of these services. Cain put it all into perspective: “Red Cross volunteers provide a continuum of care that serves new recruits in MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), service members on military installations across our region, and veterans in VA Medical Facilities. Red Cross services to the Armed Forces ensure that the individuals have support no matter what stage of their military career they may be in.”

Red Cross’ Services to the Armed Forces (SAF) programs provide assistance to 1.4 million active duty service members, 800,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve, 24 million veterans, and their families. The core services offered include:

– Providing emergency communications services when military families are separated by distance and deployments.

– Supporting military hospitals and Veterans Affairs health care facilities.

– Preparing service members and their families for the challenges they may encounter during military life and through their transition to civilian/veteran life. This assistance includes access to financial assistance, psychological first aid training, and reconnection workshops.

“Events such as this one not only give us the opportunity to promote our Armed Forces programs, but often result in new Red Cross volunteers. Providing care and service to others is in their blood,” said Cain. If you would like to help support our military service personnel as part of our Red Cross team, please contact Joshua Cain: Joshua.cain@redcross.org or 252-544-9414.

Red Cross Military Emergency Communications for active service members and their families:
1-877-272-7337.

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