Trusted communications services for service members

By Mark Walker               

Casey and Jodi Mackie

When Navy veteran Jodi Mackie suffered a medical emergency over Labor Day weekend, the Red Cross leaped into action to get her service member daughter notified and to her mother’s side.

Army Specialist Casey Mackie, stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord near Tacoma, was scheduled to go on field maneuvers when her mother became ill with a ruptured appendix.

When the Red Cross Hero Care Network got word, they were able to notify Casey’s military command, who granted her leave so she could get to the hospital and be there for her mom. Red Cross volunteers later followed up to ensure mom was doing okay and all her local needs were met.

“We’re really appreciative for the services the Red Cross provides,” said Jodi Mackie, who is back home after a short hospital stay. “They’re there in times of need.”

Earlier in the year, in March, Service to Armed Forces officials also were able to help get Casey Mackie to Spokane when her grandmother fell gravely ill.

“It’s been a sad time for the family, but the Red Cross has been with us all the way,” said Jodi Mackie, who spent eight years in the Navy working as an air traffic control specialist.

Eric Reevesman, a Service to the Armed Forces program specialist in the Northwest Region, said the Mackies are part of more than 2,500 emergency cases the Red Cross sees in the Northwest Region in a typical year. Those cases resulted in more than 10,000 assistance actions by the region’s 15 volunteers assigned to help members of the military and civilian Defense Department workers when family emergencies arise.

“This is an extremely important service,” Reevesman said. “The Red Cross is the only organization in the nation providing this help to the armed services.”

When a military family experiences a crisis, the Red Cross is there to help. More than 110,000 military families reach out to the American Red Cross for emergency assistance each year. That’s approximately 300 military families per day. That’s why the American Red Cross has launched a new online, self-service tool called the Hero Care Network. This FREE tool gives military families more flexibility and expanded access to help during times of crisis by allowing them to quickly communicate emergency messages 24/7 via computer, tablet, or even by smartphone.

Visit www.redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork for more information or to submit a request.

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