By: Darrell Rush, Service to the Armed Forces Intern
Hello my name is Darrell, I am a Social Worker intern at the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio Regional Office in Cleveland. I want to share my story of how the Red Cross affects each of us, at one point or another.
As part of my internship, I am working on a program that has become better over the years because of advances in Informational Technology. We are able to connect people and resources with a simple key stroke. This program helps Red Cross volunteers provide information to family members of deployed military personnel. The information provided helps the family with resources that gives light on a dark situation. I know that when a person is deployed and away from family members there are plenty of anxieties to spread around.
I served in the Army in the late 1970’s, after the return of our troops from Vietnam. I wanted to fight for our country, but was too young. I enlisted as soon as I was eligible. When I did my family was a wreck.. My father was killed while I was in training, and I did not find out until after he was buried.They did not find out what to do to contact the Red Cross until after I came home on leave.
That was a problem back then that has been remedied today.
In February, I was doing my regular duties- making calls to our Service Members families – when a young lady answered and found out that I was from the Red Cross. She was very distraught and bewildered. She screamed to her mother that help was there and that God was good. “The Red Cross is on the phone.”When the mother got on the call she immediately informed me that her mother just passed away the prior evening, and they did not know what to do in order to contact her son in the military. I explained the reason for my call and gave her all the information needed to start the process. She kept on thanking God for this call and the Red Cross. By the end of our conversation she was at ease and had a plan. Then she said to me,” The Red Cross is always on time in your time of need.”
“Repetition is the only way to achieve perfection here on earth”. Since I was a young lad, I have always tried to place myself in the right position to help others. You see, by continuing to do the same thing over and over again it becomes like breathing air. That simple! This is the main reason for the Red Cross being the perfect place to start when looking for advice and information in your time of need; whether it be preparing for a disaster, contacting a loved one in the Armed Forces during an emergency, or even learning about administering first aid.
The Red Cross strives to share information that will help us prepare for an emergency. They give advice on resiliency, and ways to prepare your household with hope for a better day. The Red Cross supplies resources that will help people to overcome personal tragedy and ensure a faster recovery.
To learn more about how the Red Cross helps our service members and their families visit our Service to the Armed Forces site.
CEO, American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region
Offers Veterans Day Reflection
Fellow Red Crossers:
As we all know, the origins of the American Red Cross were found on the battlefields of our nation. Our organization has a proud history of serving those who faithfully served our country, both in times of peace and in times of war. That tradition lives on today.
On this day, we must remember that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I ended. Though the Armistice was signed at 5 a.m., fighting continued till 11 a.m., killing nearly 11,000 more men. In 1921, President Warren Harding had the remains of an unknown soldier killed in France buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery. Inscribed on the Tomb are the words: “Here lies in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” On November 11, 1921, President Harding stated: “On the threshold of eternity, many a soldier, I can well believe, wondered how his ebbing blood would color the stream of human life, flowing on after his sacrifice…I can sense the prayers of our people…Let me join in that prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come…”
Photo Credit: Gwen Bochmann/American Red Cross Volunteer
Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all U.S. Veterans. In 1958, President Eisenhower placed soldiers in the tomb from WWII and the Korean War. The soldier from Vietnam, buried by President Reagan in 1984, was identified by DNA tests as pilot Michael Blassie and was reburied in 1998 at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
Photo Credit: Cal Pusateri/American Red Cross Volunteer, U. S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
To all those who have worn the uniform of our country—thank you for your selfless service to a grateful nation! Best regards…Mike
Caring Cubs Make Cards for Red Cross Military Mail Campaign
From the hands of babes. Members of the Armed Forces will receive some holiday cheer this year thanks to the artistic abilities…and the service-oriented parents…of the children of Caring Cubs.
Dozens of families gathered on Saturday, November 7th in the Main Gallery of Cuyahoga Community College West in Parma, prepared to decorate holiday cards with pictures and messages to military men and women who will be away from home for the holidays.
“This is a perfect project for the children to engage in hands-on community service,” said Kelly Rudloff, a Caring Cubs Board Member. “They like to color and draw, so they are doing an activity they enjoy while at the same time helping the Red Cross bring some holiday joy to members of the military.”
More than 375 cards were decorated by the Caring Cubs for U. S. service members.
Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross
Caring Cubs was formed six years ago by parents who wanted to teach their children about philanthropy and service at a young age, by engaging them with age-appropriate activities. Children as young as two years old are invited to be Caring Cubs. Monthly events are held, with the aim to teach the children lessons on social responsibility.
The Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program enables Americans to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season. “We invite the public to send cards of thanks, encouragement and holiday cheer to members of our Armed Forces, veterans and military families,” said Jessica Tischler, Director of Service to Armed Forces for the American Red Cross, Northeast Ohio Region. “Many of our service men and women will be separated from their loved ones this holiday season. These cards will help brighten their holidays.”
Holiday Mail for Heroes is just one way the Red Cross honors and serves the military. Our unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families continues to grow and develop more than a century after Clara Barton first recruited nurses to support the U.S. Army. We provide three types of assistance beginning on the first day of enlistment: Emergency Services, Service to Military Families and Service to Military and Veterans Hospitals, including the Louis B. Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland.
If you would like to “Give Something That Means Something” for the holidays, you have until November 30 to create your cards for members of the military and get them to your local Red Cross office for distribution. Click here for more information.
American Red Cross Introduces Hero Care Network
The Red Cross has an unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families. Always has, ever since founder Clara Barton began to recruit nurses to support Army soldiers. And now, more than 130 years later, a new digital tool has been developed to give military families the ability to get an emergency message to loved ones immediately from a computer, tablet or smartphone.
The Hero Care Network provides a new online option for emergency communication among military families, as well as the toll free Red Cross Emergency number at 877-272-7337.
“Close to 1,200 military families from Northeast Ohio reached out to the Red Cross for emergency assistance last year, and more than 900 needed to make an emergency contact with a loved one in uniform,” according to Jessica Tischler, Director of Service to Armed Forces for Northeast Ohio. “Our military families are among the 110,000 families nationwide, some 300 every day, who rely on the Red Cross during their time of need.” Any member of any branch of the military on active duty is eligible to receive an emergency communication message from family members through the Red Cross Hero Care Network. This includes activated members of the Guard and Reserve of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, along with civilians employed by or under contract to the Department of Defense and stationed outside of the continental United States, and any family member residing with them. A Cadet or midshipman at a service academy, an ROTC cadet on orders for training and Merchant Marines aboard U.S. Naval ships are also eligible for emergency communications assistance through the Red Cross.
The new online tool, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork is a secure way for family members of the men and women who serve our country to notify their loved ones about the birth of a child or grandchild, a serious illness, or the death of an immediate family member. The Red Cross has taken multiple steps to ensure the safety and security of all personal information.
While many military families are in constant contact through email and text messaging, information verified by the Red Cross assists service men and women and their commanding officers when it comes to making a decision regarding emergency leave. And with the new online tool, users who initiate an emergency message can monitor the status of their message as it goes through the verification and delivery process.
“It’s important to remember that people can always speak to a Red Cross worker at any time during the process,” according to Koby J. Langley, Senior Vice President of Service to Armed Forces for the American Red Cross. “regardless of how families initiate an emergency message, military members can depend on the Red Cross to relay urgent messages to service members serving anywhere in the world.”
For more information about Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, contact Jessica Tischler at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit redcross.org/military.
The American Red Cross’ unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families continues to grow and develop more than a century after Clara Barton first recruited nurses to support the U.S. Army. Today, the Red Cross is meeting the needs of a changing military and expanding services to veterans. Red Cross support of military members and their families enhances morale and contributes to increased operational capability in several ways.
The Red Cross provides critical services with a caring touch to men and women in all branches of the United States military, active duty personnel, reservists and members of the National Guard, and their families. Through our Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program, service men and women are eligible for three types of assistance beginning on the first day of enlistment: Emergency Services, Service to Military Families and Service to Military and Veterans Hospitals.
In Northeast Ohio we have a number of opportunities to support our Service to the Armed Forces program:
- Casework follow up for emergency communication and financial assistance cases
- Support Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) at various locations such as: Louis Stokes VA Medical Center and outpatient clinics (Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Lorain, Mansfield, Parma, Youngstown and the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery) and the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky
- Represent the Red Cross at military and military family outreach events
- Conduct family briefings at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Cleveland as new recruits get ready to leave for training
- K-9 Action Team pet visitation
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with our SAF program apply via Volunteer Connection.
- Current volunteers: sign in, click “opportunities”, apply
- New volunteers: visit https:redcross.org/neo
- Click on “volunteer” tab in left margin
- Submit application profile and complete remaining application checklist