Easing the Pains of War By Leslie A. Smith
Friday, May 28, 2010 — Beyond the maze of T-Walls—concrete barriers designed to protect—lies a little oasis in Baghdad’s Green Zone. It is an office, but no ordinary office. It has a deck and a screened-in porch. Palm trees dot the backyard, and a miniature golf course breaks up the visual expanse of sand. And in this country that has been gripped by war for the last seven years, smiling faces wait inside.
Just as it has been doing for more than a century, the American Red Cross provides vital services to U.S. service members and their families, including in conflict zones. Currently, the American Red Cross has offices at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait; Balad and Baghdad in Iraq; and at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
In addition to their primary responsibility of handling emergency communications, Red Cross staff provide a homey, relaxed atmosphere in their Middle East offices. Ergo the miniature golf course, freshly baked bread, great coffee and most importantly—a place for service members to unwind and have fun.
People often ask, “Isn’t the military supposed to do that? Aren’t they supposed to take care of their people?”
Sherri Brown, head of American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, explains:
“They do. But what the Red Cross does is different. They’re not in a military uniform. They smile, they hug. When people come into the office, you see their shoulders go down. Even though they’re still carrying a weapon, you can see them relax. It’s like a little oasis there.”
Brown recently traveled to Iraq and Kuwait to visit Red Cross staff and meet with U.S. military leadership. Hearing directly from military leaders how important the Red Cross is to them and to the troops was a reaffirmation of the Red Cross role in both peace and wartime.
In Balad, the Red Cross office is a busy place—service members come in to hang out, watch TV and connect with the outside world, via a large bank of computers where they can use the Internet and Skype with friends and family.
Red Cross staff in Balad have also started a volunteer program. Brown commented on the fact that members of the military want to volunteer with the Red Cross, saying, “That says a lot about what our people are doing there. It feels like home, so people want to be a part of it.”
Although Balad is the most fired-upon base in Iraq, that doesn’t faze the Red Cross personnel there. “Our staff are smiling every day…they are the most upbeat, giving individuals. They’re always looking for new ways to bring sunshine to the day,” Brown remarked.
In an uncertain world, no one knows when or where conflict will arise. One certainty, however, is that the American Red Cross will go wherever U.S. troops go, and will provide care and comfort as long as they are needed.
Read more about Service to the Armed Forces and how the American Red Cross helps military members and their families.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
Bill Schroeder, former Packers Wide Receiver, and current long drive/trick shot artist was on hand prior to shot gun start to amaze our foursomes with his ability to hit the long one and work his trick shots. Two lucky foursomes won the chance to golf 9-holes with Bill on their team. Thanks Bill for your support and thank you to the Packers Alumni Association for your sponsorship.
Bucket Brigade event Raises money for Red Cross
Click HERE for Video of Story:
The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter is getting ready for its Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade.The event collects donations to allow the Red Cross to help disaster victims.
Red Cross volunteers and members of local fire departments will be at several locations in Northeast Wisconsin from tonight 5 – 8 pm to collect donations.
It’s a great chance for the community to learn about the partnership between the Red Cross and firefighters.
You can spot volunteers at the following locations between 5 – 8 pm tonight:
- Abrams Shell Station, County D and Sampson Rd, supported by Abrams Fire Department
- Bay Park Square Mall, 2401 S. Oneida St, supported by Ashwaubenon Fire Department and Austin Straubel Public Safety
- Copps Food Center, 1819 Main St., supported by Green Bay East Fire Department
- Copps Food Center, 2064 Lime Kiln Rd, supported by Bellevue Fire Department
- Green Bay Plaza, on corner of West Mason and Military, supported by Green Bay West Fire Department
- Infinity Wireless, 975 Main St, by Festival Foods in De Pere supported by De Pere Fire Department
- Olsen’s Piggly Wiggly, 2465 Lineville Rd, supported by Howard Fire Department
- Suamico Pro Bowl, 2310 Lineville Rd, supported by Suamico Fire Department
- Super Ron’s Food Center, 960 Country Rd B, supported by Pulaski Fire Department
Filed under: Disaster Services, Fundraising | Tagged: American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter, Bellevue Fire Department, Captian David Dellamann, Firefighters' Bucket Brigade, Good Day Wisconsin, Jerry Prellwitz, WLUK | Leave a comment »
Published : Tuesday, 25 May 2010, 9:34 AM CDT Reporter: Alison Struve: Click HERE for Video.
DE PERE – The American Red Cross provided the following tips to stay safe around the pool this summer:
• Learn to swim well. Contact your local Red Cross Chapter at http://www.newredcross.org for information on learning how to swim — nearly 3 million people learn to swim each year with Red Cross programs.
• Never leave children unattended near water—not even for a moment! Adults should practice “reach supervision,” which means to always be within arm’s length when a young child is near water. For older children–even adults–who are not strong swimmers, practice “active” or constant supervision and make sure they wear U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) whenever in or around the water.
• Know how to respond to an emergency. You should know how to tell if a swimmer is in distress or is drowning and how and when to call for emergency help. You should also learn how to help someone in trouble in water while keeping safe yourself. Do not create a situation where you become a victim as well! Enroll in Red Cross water safety, first aid and CPR courses to learn what to do.
• Keep lifesaving gear handy. Always have on hand a ring buoy, life jacket, rope, pole or other object that can be used to help a person in trouble. Remember to have a first aid kit, cordless phone and emergency contact information by the pool.
• Know when it’s too dangerous. If you, or someone you are swimming with, appear to be too cold, too far from safety, been exposed to too much sun, or had too much strenuous activity, it is time to head for shore or signal for help.
• Eliminate temptation. Backyard pools should have self-closing, self-latching gates that remain locked when the pool is not being used. Kiddie pools should be emptied and toys removed immediately after use. Empty water pales and buckets so small children cannot fall in and drown.
• Know what you’re getting into. Check local tides, currents and other conditions which could be dangerous before entering open bodies of water.
FOX 11’s Alison Struve got some pool safety tips Tuesday morning.