American Red Cross volunteers are always going above and beyond for others. They never expect a thank you in return. But this December, the Service to Armed Forces volunteers at the Central Iowa Chapter received a special thank you from the Iowans serving in the 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Kuwait.
In November, the Central Iowa Chapter Service to Armed Forces volunteers put a special care package together for the Army National Guard members serving overseas. It included holiday cards from the Red Cross and several local organizations including the students from the Drake University School of Pharmacy. They also included blank cards for those who may want to send their own greetings to friends and family.
A few weeks later the Central Iowa Chapter received a special thank you note from 1st Sergeant Rudy Carter. 1st Sergeant Carter included a picture of his Company holding a "House Divided" Hawkeyes and Cyclones flag and two patches. The C Company is serving as part of Task Force Shield and has been in Kuwait since August.
"I am so thankful for the support we are receiving here." Carter said.
He explained that group spends most of its time flying Black Hawk helicopters, and that they are staying busy since air travel is the safest mode of transportation.
Red Cross volunteer, Jim Braswell, is the Service to Armed Forces Coordinator in Iowa. He and his wife Jane organized the holiday events for Iowans serving in the military and veterans in central Iowa. Jim and several other Service to Armed Forces volunteers know first hand how difficult it can be to be away from family during the holidays.
"We just wanted you to know that we understand and are just another small voice of thanks for all that you do representing us and proudly standing your watch," Braswell said in a letter included in the care package. "We are so grateful for that service to our country."
The Red Cross receives thousands of cards through the Holiday Mail for Heroes program each year.
"This is just one example of how even something small, like a card, means more than people might think for those serving in the military," Braswell said. "We are so lucky to have such passionate Red Cross volunteers, a supportive central Iowa community and outstanding partners like the students in the Drake School of Pharmacy for their steadfast support of our veterans and those currently serving in the military."