Situated in central New Jersey, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL) is home to more than 40,000 men and women from all five military branches. JBMDL is a constant hub of activity, serving as a takeoff point for members deploying overseas and as a home base for many others.
The base is also home to an American Red Cross office that provides services to military members and their families, including deployment care packages and a food pantry. For military spouse Andrea Price, volunteering at the JBMDL Red Cross location provides a way for her to give back to her community.
“I’ve found volunteering with the Red Cross to be very rewarding. It’s something I plan to continue to do even after my husband retires and we’re out of the military,” said Andrea.
Andrea first volunteered for the Red Cross when her husband was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, but it’s been at JBMDL where she has had her biggest impact. She currently serves as a Family Follow-Up Specialist, contacting families of young military men and women who have recently departed for basic training. Andrea communicates information about Red Cross services provided to military members and their families while members are in training or deployed around the world.
Although the job can be emotionally challenging at times, it’s one that leaves Andrea feeling a sense of fulfillment.
“The families are always so grateful to hear from you. It makes me feel like I’m really making a difference,” Andrea said.
In addition to serving as a Family Follow-Up Specialist, Andrea also helps stock and organize the JBMDL Red Cross food pantry and prepares comfort kits for deployed military members.
Aside from her work with the Red Cross, Andrea is active in the community in other capacities as well. She is currently the President of the Fort Dix Elementary Parent Teacher Organization and also serves on the leadership committee of the Joint Base Spouses Club.
In recognition of her many contributions to the Joint Base community, she was recently awarded JBMDL’s Military Spouse of the Year award.
When asked about being named Military Spouse of the Year, Andrea said, “I volunteer to give back to the community. It’s fulfilling and I feel like I’m helping the people around me.”
SERVICE TO THE ARMED FORCES The Red Cross has been helping members of our country’s armed forces, our veterans and civilians for more than a century. Today the Red Cross provides more than 352,000 services to members of the military and veterans every year.
Red Cross services are possible thanks to volunteer spirit and the generosity of the American public. The men and women of the American Red Cross continue to show our appreciation for the dedicated service and patriotic sacrifices of America’s armed forces and their families and are proud to support them wherever and whenever they need us.
By Kathleen Dillon, American Red Cross Volunteer