Red Cross is mostly known for its role in collecting blood to supply hospitals throughout the
United States so that patients have what they need.
But what you may not know is that one of the original functions of the Red Cross began with
Clara Barton’s role on the battlefield helping soldiers. She wrote the charter for the Red Cross
entrusting the organization to help active-duty military as well as veterans. Service to the
Armed Forces is a landmark mission of the organization. The Red Cross plays a key role in
getting emergency information to and from deployed military and their families. The federal
government has mandated that the Red Cross is the only organization that verifies the family
emergency and then requests military help reuniting families in times of need. In fact, Unit
Commanders will only send military home during these times, if the Red Cross has vetted the
situation and verified the need.
During International conflicts, the Red Cross you will find Red Cross volunteers behind the
scenes helping displaced families, administering first aid, and trying to re-unite family groups
that may have been separated.
At home they provide a compassionate mission to honor and respect our veterans. Thus you
will see the Red Cross in the Veteran’s Day Parade this Saturday. Some veterans have become
adrift as a result of trauma (physical and mental) during service and aren’t able to successfully
re-engage very well after their return home from duty. The Red Cross is there to assist them
with their everyday needs by holding Standdowns where they can find needed resources such
as medical, dental, and mental care and supplies they might need such as raincoats, sleeping
bags, socks, toiletries, tarps, etc.
If you are willing and would like to help us in these endeavors to give our veterans their due
respect after offering their lives for our freedom, we would embrace your time and talents.
Veteran and recent past Board Chair of the Southwest OR Chapter of the Red Cross