It’s the Month of the Military Child, a time set aside across the nation to recognize the millions of children whose parents or caregivers are members of the Armed Forces.
Children play a special role in their parent’s service to our country, often moving and changing schools and facing months of long-term deployment during which they don’t see their mother, father, sister or brother. The American Red Cross recognizes and supports these military children through its Service to the Armed Forces and offers special programs just for the younger members of military families.
In Germany, the American Red Cross has started a new Youth Program on United States Army Garrison (USAG) Hohenfels in which young volunteers support community events. Hohenfels is part of the Bavarian Military Community with a Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces office on base. More than a dozen youth volunteers have already joined the program, holding a Locker Decorating Contest at their school and supporting community events like the Armed Forces Blood Program’s blood drive and helping at the annual Kinder Fest and Box Run.
One of the program’s members is 17-year-old Trevor Tufts, a military dependent on base whose father is a member of the U.S. Army. A junior at Hohenfels Middle High School where he is part of the track team, Trevor says he is happy to be helping his local Army community by volunteering with the Red Cross.
“At my father's previous duty assignment I volunteered with the USO and gained a sense of pride working with the community,” he said. “I wanted that feeling to continue here so I decided the Red Cross would be a good fit for me. I would like to help build the youth program at Hohenfels, Germany and get more of my peers involved in volunteering.” Tuft’s mother is also a Red Cross volunteer. “My mom has been a volunteer in various organizations for as long as I can remember and I feel that the Red Cross promotes a stronger bond in my family by our volunteering together. It also helps us stay in touch with the Army community.”
Another member of the Youth Program at Hohenfels is 15-year-old Kyra Jones whose father is a member of the U.S. Air Force. Kyra is home-schooled and also attends Hohenfels Middle High School where she plays soccer.
“I am enjoying the Red Cross very much,” she reports. “It allows me an avenue for community service. I joined the Red Cross Youth Program because it embodies everything that my family believes in - impartiality and helping people. The only agenda is to help those in need.” Her brother is also a member and both her mother and father also volunteer.
“My mother, brother and I are all new volunteers, but my father has volunteered for the Red Cross for several years,” she said. “Red Cross events are sort of our family fun time. The Red Cross really is what we do as a family.”
SAF PROGRAMS Red Cross SAF workers are present at military installations around the world. Through these military installations and the network of Red Cross chapters across the country, the Red Cross works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to relay emergency messages to deployed service members, including those in remove locations and on ships at sea. Members of the Armed Forces can count on the Red Cross to help in times of crisis, access to financial assistance in partnership with military aid societies, as well as programs for the country’s veterans. For more information, visit the Service to the Armed Forces program information on our web site.