When his mother passed away in February, 2013, Antonio Ciraldo knew he needed to find a way to get his son, PFC Joseph Ciraldo, home for the funeral. As a child, Joseph had spent time after school and every Sunday with his grandparents. He and his grandmother, in particular, were very close.
At his son’s suggestion, Antonio contacted the American Red Cross.
Within 30 minutes Joe’s leave was being processed.
“We, as a community, are blessed with such a program,” Antonio said. “With a single phone call my son was able to be present for the funeral of his grandmother and stand as a source of strength for his grandfather.”
As part of our service to Armed Forces, the Red Cross gives support to active-duty military members, National Guard and Reserve members, veterans and their families. We provide pre-deployment briefings, called “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us,” and connect families with needed resources when their loved ones are deployed.
The Red Cross also delivers emergency messages, such as notification of an illness or death in the family. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the Red Cross relays urgent messages containing accurate, factual, complete and verified descriptions of the emergency to service members stationed anywhere in the world, including on ships at sea and at embassies and remote locations. Even if the service member receives an email or phone call from home, Red Cross-verified information assists the member and his or her commanding officers with making a decision regarding emergency leave. Military families rely on these verified communications.