For the second year in a row, the Services to the Armed Forces Department (SAF) of the American Red Cross Ohio Buckeye Region was presented with the Ohio Adjutant General’s Family Readiness Award. Craig Nagy received the award for the department, which he directs.
This award “recognizes the overall support an organization provides to service members and their families in the State of Ohio,” Craig said. The Ohio National Guard presents it annually to a variety of organizations that provide support to military personnel.The services SAF provides are multifaceted, including:
- Pre- and post-deployment services
- Resiliency training
- Emergency Communication Services
- A supportive, nonmedical presence in hospitals and clinics that serve military members and veterans
Anyone who’s been associated with a member of the military knows how deeply deployment affects family life. To help families know what to expect and how to manage the changes, SAF is present at deployments to offer information. The service member can provide information that will allow an SAF caseworker to communicate with the family and others involved if there is a need for emergency communication.
Once this contact information is obtained and confirmed, the family can call on SAF to facilitate emergency communication, which might range from news of a new baby to news of the impending death of a loved one. After an SAF volunteer has confirmed the facts, the individual’s commanding officer is contacted. The commanding officer takes it from there. If s/he determines that the military member may go home, SAF can help make that financially possible if this help is needed.
SAF also offers workshops for loved ones that enhance their ability to cope with deployments and provides help reconnecting once the service member returns home. In addition, SAF volunteers support the military and veterans in hospitals and clinics, carrying out nonmedical functions.
Military members and their loved ones can get help at their fingertips through the Hero Care app or by texting GETHEROCARE to 90999.