More than a century after Clara Barton first recruited nurses to support the U.S. Army, the unwavering commitment of the American Red Cross to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families continues to grow and develop.
The Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces work continues today with Cheryl Searcy. A 22-year veteran of the Red Cross, Searcy spent five months with the Red Cross team at Bagram Air Base near Kabul, Afghanistan.
Searcy grew up hearing her father’s stories as a fighter pilot in World War II, and she gained a real respect for the military through his stories. She honored the service he provided to his country by dedicating her Red Cross service in Afghanistan to him.
Four days after returning home, she hopped on a plane to Arizona to share her experiences with her father.
“He was very proud,” Searcy stated.
In Afghanistan, Searcy helped at the Red Cross center on the base. Troops can receive emergency messages, make a phone calls home and celebrate the holidays at the center.
“I think I always understood the mission [of the Red Cross],” Searcy stated. “I’m not sure I understood the value of the mission. And there was no missing it in Afghanistan.”
Especially around Memorial Day, Searcy recalled what her time in Afghanistan meant to her. “Coming back, I think it makes me more committed to the organization and the work that we do. It certainly has given me a greater appreciation for the military and their families.
“It was obvious in every conversation and every relationship that I built while I was on the base that sacrifices are made every day with these men and women.”
The Red Cross relies on the volunteer spirit and financial generosity of the American people to support America’s military families. Today, as always, the men and women of the American Red Cross continue to show our appreciation for the dedicated service and patriotic sacrifices of America’s military men and women and their families by being there to support them wherever they are and whenever they need us. Learn more about Service to the Armed Forces on redcross.org