The 5th line of service!

Those familiar with the American Red Cross know that there are 5 major lines of service:  Disaster/Preparedness, Health and Safety, Biomedical Services, International Services, and Service to the Armed Forces (SAF).  I personally have experience in the first 4 lines mentioned, but have never even touched the last one, SAF.  In fact, I can honestly say I have no idea what goes on. 

On the same note though, it is about time I found out!  It is my goal starting this new school year to truly find out what SAF does.  I want to know what they do across seas, in VA hospitals and on American military bases.  Ultimately I want to find what youth are doing, and what we can do to help SAF.  I challenge anyone out there to do the same thing and let me know what you find so we can pass that info to other youth across the country.  Helping military personnel and their families is a proud tradition of the American Red Cross and with the help of youth we can keep that tradition going.

Already volunteer in a VA hospital or service base? Let me know what you are doing!

Pat West, California
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One Response to “The 5th line of service!”
  1. Magi says:

    I grew up with an AFES volunteer, only then it was called Service to Military Families and Veterans. As a teen, it drove me nuts that I couldn’t talk on the phone to my friends on Thursday evenings 2 or 3 times a month because my mother had “the duty”. And if I did manage to sneak a phone call in, I would get interrupted by the operator on more than one occasion with the message, “This is the local (or long-distance, or over-seas) operator with an emergency call for…” But, I grew up in a military family and realized how truly important the service my mother provided to military members, veterans and their families. During college, we were on the schedule together, and now, I often take phone calls for my chapter or go to family deployment events. The family deployment event is an opportunity for the service member and their family to meet with various groups that can provide them service; services like Tri-Care (military insurance), Red Cross, and social service or other agencies that work with supporting families, USO are usually present. A really good introduction to SAF is the Red Cross brochure, “Get To Know Us Before You Need Us”. I believe it is still available, although I’m not positive.

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