Every day, the American Red Cross provides 24/7 global emergency communication services and support to members of the military community and their families. Through a network of volunteers and staff, we are here when you need us; no matter your rank.
Recently, we had the honor to talk with Major General Reiner, Adjutant General for Wyoming, about his experience with the Red Cross emergency communication process. Throughout his military career General Reiner has seen the process used to help his fellow service men and women, but it wasn’t until he had his own personal family emergency that he got to see how the process worked first hand. As an Honorary Board Member for the Red Cross of Wyoming, General Reiner has a strong connection to the Red Cross services and knew who to call when he needed to have his daughter, who was on active duty away from home, return home when her grandmother passed away. “There is a process in place that is important, no matter what rank you get to,” said General Reiner. “When you have an emergency the Red Cross provides validity and substantiates the request.” Red Cross verified information assists service members and their commanding officers with making a decision regarding emergency leave.
People eligible to receive an emergency communication message include:
• Anyone on active duty in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard
• An activated member of the Guard and Reserve of all branches of the U.S.
• An immediate family member or dependent of anyone in the above categories
• A civilian employed by or under contract to the Department of Defense and
stationed outside the Continental United States and any family residing with them
at that location
• A Cadet or midshipman at a service academy; ROTC cadet on orders for training
• A Merchant Marine aboard a U.S. Naval Ship
Knowing in advance that military families will be able to reach their loved one and have access to financial and other types of assistance during an emergency brings peace of mind to families who are separated. “You know bad things happen in life and as we, in the military, are scattered all over the world it is important to have rapid and accurate information,” said General Reiner. “This network of great Red Cross volunteers is here, and they’re doing a great service in the states and across the nation. When you need them, they are here. You just have to make sure you know who to call.”
The Red Cross has a new online option to give military families more flexibility and expanded access to help during times of crisis. People can now request help online at redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork or by calling 877-272-7337. This new and secure online option is easy to use and just like the toll free number, is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the world. With this new online option, in addition to starting an emergency message, online users will be able to monitor the status of there message as it goes through the verification and delivery process.
The American Red Cross Hero Care App is another way we help members of the military, veterans and their families identify and access both emergency and non-emergency Red Cross services from anywhere around the world. The Hero Care App is available to download for free in app stores, by texting ‘GETHEROCARE’ to 90999 or by clicking the following link from a mobile device. http://3cu.be/sharehc.
*Photo used, courtesy of Major General Reiner and family.