Our Special Relationship with Those Who Serve in the Military

To all of my relatives, friends and co-workers who have risked their lives in service to our country, thank you.
I am honored to work for an organization that has such a long-standing, special relationship with the military.  Red Cross workers in our region relay thousands of emergency messages every year to military personnel from their families here in Central Virginia. Be it a serious illness, death, or a happy occasion such as a birth, when a family needs to contact a loved one in the military, all they need do is contact their local American Red Cross.
We also have a strong volunteer presence at McGuire Veterans Medical Center. Every day our volunteers help patients with personal errands, provide recreational time and comfort their families that have often traveled great distances to be with their wounded warriors. I cannot imagine what our families experience being so far from home while they wait to learn the seriousness of their child or spouse’s wounds. At least they can count on the presence of someone who cares, albeit a stranger, but I like to believe that after a short while, that Red Cross volunteer is no longer thought of as a stranger but as a friend.
Many of the wounded from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan find McGuire their home from a few days to several months. Most are young men and women who suffer with injuries such as severe head wounds, loss of sight, hearing or limbs. As physically wounded as they may be, their positive attitudes never cease to amaze us all.
We are now in the process of moving to a larger office space at Ft. Lee. The enormous growth that is taking place at Ft. Lee will necessarily allow the Red Cross to expand its services.
As with all our programs, we could never help the numbers of people we do without the support of our volunteers. If you have a special place in your heart for those who have served our country and can lend a few hours to help at McGuire or Ft. Lee, please let us know.
On November 11th we will celebrate Veteran’s Day. Please join me in thanking our relatives, friends and co-workers who have given of themselves in such generous ways.