SALT LAKE CITY, Utah(News4Utah) May is military appreciation month. It’s something the Red Cross is passionate about. Rich Woodruff from the Utah Red Cross, joined Brian Carlson to talk about why.
May is Military Appreciation Month and Woodruff says the public may or may not know how deep their roots run with the military, veterans and their families. In fact, they often say the Red Cross was “born on the battlefield,” going all the way back to the Geneva Convention. Principles were created and then adopted and advocated for by social activist Clara Barton. She founded The American Red Cross during the Civil War. Their SAF (Services to the Armed Forces) program is often overlooked as one of the 5 key service lines of the Red Cross. (The other 4 being disaster services, blood services, preparedness training, and international services).
As the longest standing organization serving America’s military families, the Red Cross provides steadfast care throughout a military member’s course of service and beyond. The Red Cross provides this humanitarian work through the following categories of service whenever it is needed: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
Providing Emergency Services – When significant family emergencies occur, the Red Cross is a gateway to a network of comprehensive assistance. The United States Department of Defense (DoD) relies solely on the Red Cross to obtain verified reports of family situations for service members and their commanders, enabling them to make timely decisions about returning home. The Red Cross also helps identify and provides access to the best resources, including financial assistance, in response to a family’s emergency needs.
Supporting Military Hospitals and Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care Facilities – Red Cross volunteers and employees work hand-in-hand with military and VA hospitals and clinics to provide rehabilitation therapy, morale-building activities, and material assistance that is vital to the comfort, recovery and healthcare of service members and veterans. There are current Red Cross volunteer teams at Hill AFB and the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City.
Building Strong Families and Resilient Communities – The Red Cross works to strengthen families’ capacity to cope with the unique demands of a military lifestyle. This is achieved through preparedness briefings, mental health, preparedness, health and safety courses, and networking and support opportunities that are all delivered in local communities across the nation and on military installations around the globe.
Whether our nation is at war or at peace, every day around the globe, members of the U.S. Armed Forces are deployed in service to the country. As the National Guard and Reserves return to their hometown communities, and the active duty are given new assignments, their need for Red Cross support remains critical and constant.
The Red Cross will continue to assist all members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families, wherever they are in their military life journey. The Red Cross, through its Continuum of Care, is uniquely equipped with the global capacity to support the military 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
If you’d like more information, visit RedCross.org.