When unexpected tragedy struck a Wahiawa military family, they turned to the American Red Cross Hero Care Network for assistance. The father of a Private First Class called the Hero Care call center to provide the necessary information for delivery of an Emergency Communication Message (ECM - known better in the military community as a “Red Cross Message”) to the young service member’s unit. Within hours, the soldier’s command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina received the ECM to determine emergency leave status. When volunteer caseworker, Sue Tarle, followed up with the family a few days later to check in and determine if additional assistance was needed to cope with the family’s loss, the soldier’s father expressed sincere gratitude for the help. Hero Care Network Case Management Lead, Sue received the following message, “Aloha Sue, thank you so much for reaching out. My daughter’s Army unit has received the official message and currently not asking for further information. I can’t thank you and your staff enough for the prompt service in this time of tragedy for our family. Thank you, again.”
The Hero Care Network is made up of Red Cross staff and volunteers who work 24/7/365 assisting military families with emergency communication services. The American Red Cross is the only organization that provides this unique support to service members, veterans and their families. The Red Cross delivers hundreds of messages a day to military units, naval vessels and deployed sites around the world. Commanders rely on the verified messages to expedite emergency leave approval that allows service members to return home and better navigate crisis situations. The Service to the Armed Forces team continues a tradition that dates back to Clara Barton’s selfless service on Civil War battlefields, tending to the sick and wounded as well as serving as a means of communication to families of the fallen. That legacy continues today through the work of the American Red Cross Hero Care Network.