Local Red Cross welcomes troops from 1171st home
Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 8:01 pm
The Obion County Red Cross recently assisted with the 1171st Transportation Co. reintegration event held at Dresden First Baptist Church for the returning troops based out of Dresden.
The unit had been deployed for over a year.
The Obion County Red Cross presented a history of its involvement with the county’s military, its Service to Armed Forces (SAF) program and its new course pilot, the “Coming Home Series” for returning armed forces personnel. The course is designed to ease the transition home after deployment.
The event brought together military families who enjoyed breakfast furnished by the Obion County Red Cross.
The SAF program dates to the establishment of the American Red Cross by Clara Barton in May 1881. Not only did the “Angel of the Battlefield” risk her life tending to soldiers wounded in the Civil War, she bolstered their morale by writing letters for them to send to their families.
Today’s American Red Cross workers proudly carry on this tradition through the SAF program, which serves as a critical line of communication between the U.S Armed Forces and their families.
Emergency communications: SAF sends messages about urgent news from home — a serious illness, the birth of a child or the death of a loved one — to service men and women anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and isolated military units.
Emergency financial assistance: In partnership with military aid societies, SAF facilitates the distribution of financial and/or travel assistance to qualifying military personnel and their families who are experiencing financial hardship or are in need of travel subsidies to fund visits with injured or sick loved ones or attend a memorial service.
Community support: The Obion County Chapter supports the Armed Forces in Obion, Weakley and Lake counties with the following community activities:
• Hosting the annual Veterans Day “Coffee and Donuts” event;
• Organizing deployment briefings and family days for service members and their loved ones, as well as a free “Psychological First Aid: Coping With Deployment” course;
• Organizing reintegration events for troops returning from deployments;
• Supporting the troops stationed at all locations throughout the world;
• Providing service members and their families with referrals to other organizations for specialized assistance, such as legal advice or mental-health counseling.
The SAF department released the “Coping With Deployments (CWD): Psychological First Aid for Military Families” course in October 2008 and has developed a new psycho-educational course to assist military families with the reintegration of service members as they return home from deployments.
“Coming Home” will offer a series of modules addressing a range of post deployment topics. The modules were developed as a result of overwhelming feedback from participants who completed the CWD course and indicated additional support is needed during the post deployment period. The CWD course has been successful in providing resilience training prior to the deployment and during deployment phase, now the Red Cross will offer the “Coming Home” series to address the mental health concerns that are prevalent during the post deployment period.
The goal of the “Coming Home” modules is to assist service members and their families to ease the transition home after a deployment. The “Coming Home” series focuses on individual and small group coaching that enhances the likelihood of positive reconnections among family members and the successful reengagement of the service member into civilian life. The series consists of a number of topic areas that service members and their families have found relevant to their experience as they transition back home.
In 1905, Congress mandated the American Red Cross to provide emergency communications between soldiers and their families. It has since been a free service to the military community.
Active duty service members stationed in the United States and their immediate family members can call the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service centers (1-800-696-3873) for help seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The American Red Cross is not a governmental agency and provides these services through the generous support of donors.
Published in The Messenger 3.2.11