Committed to helping those who serve

May is Military Appreciation Month

By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer

As American Red Cross volunteers and staff members, we have been honored to work alongside several veterans, some of whom we have had the honor of featuring on this blog. In addition to the values of service, commitment, and being part of an effective team, they speak of the importance of Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF). SAF has been vital during their military careers and as veterans, often leading them to join the Red Cross themselves.

Contributing authors and those profiled include Cynthia Skidmore, Brinton Lincoln, Chiane Martin, Dave Riegler, Brook Harless, Sally Falasca, Paul Svasta and of course the CEO of the American Red Cross Northern Ohio Region and Rear Admiral, US Coast Guard (Retired), Mike Parks.

May is Military Appreciation Month and May 20th is Armed Forces Day. The Red Cross has been committed to assisting military members, veterans, and their families since its inception in 1881. Services include emergency financial assistance, counseling, and support for veterans.

One of the most important roles is providing emergency communication services. Whether a natural disaster, family illness, or other crises, members of the Red Cross help connect military families. Speaking personally as a member of an extended military family, I have often seen the effectiveness of these services in bringing relatives home when needed.

Pre-deployment event at Youngstown Air Reserve Station

Military families receive support to help cope with the challenges of military life, such as frequent moves, deployments, and separations. One very popular program is animal visitation.

Additional Red Cross services help improve the well-being of service members, veterans, and military families. These include reconnection workshops to help adjust to post-deployment life, and military hospital programs to provide comfort and support to wounded service members and their families.

For Military Appreciation Month, please join us in thanking military members, veterans, and military families for their service. Please also consider helping support them through volunteering with the Red Cross or providing a donation.

SAF volunteer roles include:

  • Delivering critical emergency messages through the Red Cross Hero Care Network.
  • For both medical and non-medical volunteers, providing patient comfort and care for injured service members and their families.
  • For mental health professionals, leading free resiliency workshops for military families in need.

You can get more information about how you can volunteer to help members of the military, veterans and their families here.

Posted by Ryan Lang, Red Cross board member and volunteer


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