American Red Cross Opens Office to Help Returning Veterans

We are all very grateful for the service that these brave men and women have provided to our country, said Sam Tidwell, CEO, American Red Cross South Florida Region

The American Red Cross South Florida Region officially opened its first Transition and Reintegration (TRP) office today under the Community Blueprint project, where it will offer essential assessment and case management services for veterans returning home to South Florida to help them re-acclimate to civilian life.

The Community Blueprint project is a nationwide program designed to address the most common challenges facing veterans, returning service members and their families by transforming goodwill into service. The American Red Cross serves as an advisor to the project.

The opening of this office was made possible thanks to initial funding of $300,000 from AutoNation of Fort Lauderdale. It represents a significant step in the transition and re-integration pilot (TRP) program launched by the Red Cross earlier this year in partnership with United Way of Broward County under the Mission United Banner.

Program service areas include intake and assessment, employment, housing, legal services, healthcare, education/training, sponsorship and financial assistance.

It is the mission of the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) to provide humanitarian support to service members, veterans and their families around the clock, around the globe.

Over the next several months an estimated 11,000 veterans will be returning home from Afghanistan. The American Red Cross and its service allies, including Mission United partners, are committed to helping veterans address the varied challenges they will face upon returning home.

“We are all very grateful for the service that these brave men and women have provided to our country,” said Sam Tidwell, CEO, American Red Cross South Florida Region. “We need to come together as a community and do everything we can to ensure that their transition into civilian life is as smooth as possible.”

Currently, 22 million veterans live in the United States. Second only to California, Florida is home to the highest number of veterans, with 1.6 million veterans in South Florida alone. Nationally, one out of 150 veterans is homeless and one out of 9 lives in poverty. Further, because of the growing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder crisis and lack of adequate resources to assist with their transition into civilian life, as many as 18 military members commit suicide every day.

The new TRP office is located at the American Red Cross South Florida Region, Broward office, at 6710 West Sunrise Blvd., Suite 111 Plantation, FL 33313.

Photo caption: (From left to right) Gale Butler, Vice President Corporate Affairs, AutoNation; Sherri Brown, Senior Vice President Services to the Armed Forces, American Red Cross; Sam Tidwell, CEO, American Red Cross South Florida Region.

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 join our blog at