Since the Red Cross was founded over a century ago, supporting the armed forces and their loved ones during their greatest times of need has always been part of its legacy and mission.
“We just want our military, service members, and veterans to know we are here to support them and how we continue that mission 24/7/365,” said Celeste Stimpson, Service to Armed Forces Program Director.
The Red Cross primarily helps with emergency communication messages, helping reach soldiers and bring them home to be with their families in a timely manner when tough times occur.
“We get sometimes 2-3 emergency messages a day here at the local level and those families have various needs, sometimes it’s just an illness, and sometimes someone passed away and they need to get home for a funeral,” said Stimpson.
According to Stimpson, so far this year, the Red Cross has received more than 1100 calls for assistance. Stimpson knows firsthand the challenges of a military lifestyle as she served in the U.S. Air Force overseas in Europe for three years, including two Middle East deployments.
“As a service member I just remember you’re very far away from your family many times so knowing there are opportunities if your family needs you, you can call on us and we’ll be there to help support that.”
Additionally, the Red Cross offers ‘resiliency workshops’ with peer-to-peer connections to active military, military spouses, and veterans. “Just support mental health workshops, mind-body workshops to help families just cope with the challenges that come your way from when you’re maybe apart from a long time. Or your kids, how to handle when your parent is gone for a long time.”