I have been directly involved with the Red Cross for many years. During my Marine Corps career, spanning 1958-1981, I was at various posts directly involved with keeping Marines and other service members connected to their loved ones. Many times we would have serious news to deliver to the service member, and protocol meant that such messages would be delivered to the member's unit. The First Sergeant, or other high-ranking member, would call the service member in to the unit office, and the message would be delivered, and the local Red Cross Representative would be present or on standby. There was real teamwork between units and the local Red Cross office, which accompanied many overseas units. Many major bases in ConUS also had offices. The Chaplain would be involved in many cases. Frequently a member would be processed for return to the states, depending on the situation. The local Red Cross office could also make temporary loans to the member to help with stateside travel expenses. I personally was the recipient of such news, telling me that my dad was very ill with cancer and was dying. I was called to the company office, and the First Sergeant already had my orders being cut to transfer me and my family back home from Japan. He was surprised when I declined, only asking for emergency leave. It was, of course, granted and transportation was arranged. Ever since my retirement, wherever I have worked in the U. S., I have supported the Red Cross, with blood donations when available in my area, but always with annual donations. Our country, and especially our servicemen and women, are served very well by this wonderful organization.