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Emergency Communications Brings Father Home

Wilkins Story
The Red Cross has helped me get the most important man back from Afghanistan so that we can have our baby

The American Red Cross is committed to helping military members and their families who sacrifice so much in service to our country. The Red Cross knows these sacrifices can be difficult to make and that is why the Red Cross commitment is so important.

Last year, the Red Cross provided more than 400,000 services to military members, veterans and civilians. In addition, the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces briefed more than 1.2 million persons through the “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us” outreach program so military members and their families would know where to turn when an emergency arose.

A New Addition to the Wilkins Family

As part of this commitment, when a military family experiences a crisis, the Red Cross is there to help when it is needed most. That’s why when Audrey Wilkins of Hope Mills, North Carolina, was due to give birth to a second child while her husband Billy was deployed in Afghanistan, the Red Cross helped contact the Army to bring him home.

“The Red Cross has helped me get the most important man back from Afghanistan so that we can have our baby,” said Audrey.

Every day, the Red Cross provides emergency assistance to 380 military families. Thankfully, the day Audrey and Billy’s son was born, Billy was there. Take a minute to watch the Wilkin’s video story.

Red Cross Emergency Communications

Wherever their military service takes them, service members can rest assured that the Red Cross will deliver notification of an emergency such as the good news of the birth of a service member's child or grandchild, as well as the tragic news of serious illness or death of an immediate family member.

Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the Red Cross relays urgent messages containing accurate, factual, complete and verified descriptions of the emergency to service members stationed anywhere in the world, including on ships at sea and at embassies and remote locations.

Even if the service member receives an email or phone call from home, Red Cross-verified information assists the member and his/her commanding officers with making a decision regarding emergency leave.

Knowing in advance that communication links, access to financial assistance and information and referral will be available in an emergency brings peace of mind to service members and to the families from whom they are separated.

Learn how military members and their families can contact the Red Cross for emergency communications assistance.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.