By Karsten Doan, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas Region
The American Red Cross has served the military for 135 years, and has been deployed alongside our armed forces since the Spanish-American War in 1898.
As the various branches of our military work together to protect our shores, these heroes have sacrificed so much to protect our sacred freedoms outlined in our constitution.
All local Red Cross chapters have a program called “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us” in which various services are offered domestically and internationally each year to nearly 735,000 service members and their families.
Services include emergency financial assistance and aid in identifying community resources and government benefits that help armed forces members and their families receive resiliency, coping and reintegration training.
The resiliency training, Service to the Armed Forces, offers educational courses that help military members and their families throughout the deployment cycle through a program called “Coping with Deployment.”
This course teaches resiliency strategies so that family members can arm themselves with psychological tools to deal with the challenges of deployment.
The “Coming Home” educational program series focuses on post-deployment and coaches individuals or small groups to form positive reconnections among family members and their loved ones while they re-engage in civilian life.
There is also international access to emergency messages in which the Red Cross can send emergency correspondence to active-duty members abroad in case of sudden death or illness in a family.
Each year Service to the Armed Forces provides assistance to all military installations in the U.S and 35 internationally–providing more than 513,000 services to veterans, members and their families.
Our dedication to helping service members and their families is an integral part of the identity of the American Red Cross.