Service to Armed Forces has been and continues to be an important part of the Red Cross mission. This includes supporting military members and their families, before, during, and after deployments.
Recently, the Red Cross participated in a “During Deployment” event for the 219th Security Forces squadron based out of Minot Air Force base with its headquarters located in Fargo at the 119th Air Wing. Several members of this unit are currently deployed overseas executing a security mission.
The event was held specifically for family members of the deployed airmen and included various topics including communication, finance, benefits, and other services available to the service members and their families. These are designed to help transitions thru deployments and ease some of the hardship felt by all involved.
Keith Huff, Red Cross Service to Armed Forces Manager in North Dakota, was recognized by the 219th Squadron for his support for the loved ones of those deployed.
“These workshops help give words to things and raise understanding about what it is like to come home,” said Service to Armed Forces Manager, Keith Huff. “It also recognizes the struggles the families face when dealing with deployments.”
The Power of Volunteers
Red Cross volunteer Shelly Koski, of Elk River Minnesota, was able to establish a connection with the family members right away and help them to better understand the communication styles of their service members. These classes help link families to available resources like the VA and other organizations that can help with transitions.
Huff, a 20-yeard army veteran himself, knows firsthand how important these services are.
“I went from a combat zone to my front door in less than 100 hours,” he recalls. “The transition can be intense and difficult to handle.”