Written by: Luanne Nelson, Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer
The Nebraska/SW Iowa Region American Red Cross assisted Offutt AFB Chapel organizers in a special event to recognize the families of deployed soldiers on Wednesday, August 7th. Chapel account manager and event organizer Mary Burden described the effort as a way to help families "learn about the different agencies that provide resources to families." She added, "This event helps families with children relax a bit by providing fun activities and companionship with others in the same situation."
In addition to serving at events like these, the Red Cross also offers a "Coping With Deployments" course which addresses the stresses and strains that deployments place on the families of service members. Other Red Cross services for families of the deployed include: An Emergency Communications network; Emergency financial assistance; Counseling and referral services; Representation for veteran entitlements; and health, safety and disaster assistance.
Tamsen Butler, whose husband is serving in Afghanistan, enjoys the evening with her children Abram (8) and Monet (9). Butler said she appreciates the evening because "My kids have a good time and I really like the fact that this event shows them that the Base has not forgotten how we're all feeling during this deployment."
California native Jennifer Ward is quietly raising 19 month old Bryce on her own while her husband is stationed in Japan. Ward is a registered nurse who works at the Offutt Clinic. "I really appreciate the Air Force community and their efforts to support families," she said. "It's difficult working all day and saving energy for Bryce."