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Red Cross provides services to the Armed Forces

It was during the Civil War that the American Red Cross started serving members of our Armed Forces. Known as the ‘Angel of the Battlefield,’ Clara Barton provided emergency care to soldiers injured during war, and after the battles would locate the families of deceased servicemen.

Now nearly 150 years later, the Red Cross continues to support our Armed Forces.These services include providing emergency communication between the family and the serviceperson- anywhere they may be in the world - financial assistance, casualty travel assistance, and information and referrals. The Red Cross has earned a high reputation for providing objective, timely, confidential, factual, complete and verified reports on emergency situations. These reports enable service members and their commanders to make informed decisions about leave and other matters in order to prevent, prepare for and respond to a family emergency. 

The most often-used service that the Red Cross provides to the Armed Forces is emergency communication between the family and serviceperson. 

Recently, an Allegany County family turned to the Red Cross for help when their serviceperson was overseas and his father fell very ill. The Red Cross was able to bring him home to spend the last few hours with his dying father. The serviceperson was able to speak with a Chaplin as arrangements were made to bring him back to Allegany County. 

 The Red Cross helped to verify the request by calling the hospital, talking with the serviceperson’s commander, and worked out flight arrangements, all while providing counseling to the family during their time of need. 

A few weeks later, a Red Cross worker from Allegany County called the family to see how they were doing, if the serviceperson had made it home safely and/or made it back to 

their station safely, and if there was any other services that the Red Cross could help them with. 

Without funding from Allegany County United Way, the Red Cross could not have helped provide 21 families with various services from May 2012 to April 2013. In the years to come the Red Cross will continue to support our Armed Forces with help from our community members throughout Allegany County. 

 Photo Caption: Red Cross Volunteers make follow-up calls to see if the serviceman was able to come home and to see if the Red Cross could help them in any other way.  

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