Red Cross, Yellow Ribbon, Happy Reunions

When people hear the words, “Service to the Armed Forces” or “SAF” their minds typically go to the emergency communications aspect of the American Red Cross program. Well, that is, assuming that someone is talking about SAF in the first place, and supposing the listener actually knows what the program is….

If you don’t fall into either of those categories, no worries, we know that for some unfortunate reason SAF remains off-the-radar of public knowledge, and we’re working on spreading the word about this incredibly unique program. Most likely, if you are a military member (or have family in the military) then you have heard about how the American Red Cross works alongside the military every day, providing a reliable 24/7 emergency communication network to deployed servicemen and women.

And while we certainly celebrate the ways the communications system works, today we’d like to give a shout-out to two other aspects of SAF: parties and packages.

Parties: A few times a year, SAF members participate in a “Welcome Home” celebration for units returning from active duty. It is a wonderful event the military hosts in order to allow troops to reunite with family members, and this past weekend our very own Mark Goggin (Red Cross Emergency Services Director) attended one such lunchtime event at the West Palm Beach Armory.

The images below are from the Welcome Home event on Sunday, in honor of the 124th Delta Company. About 300 people, including soldiers and family members, came to celebrate the unit’s return from their 15 month tour in Iraq and Kuwait. A SAF representative will always attend the send-off and return gatherings, either to remind the units how the Red Cross can help during their deployment or, like this past weekend, to cheer them on during their return home.

Mark Goggin, representing the SAF program, celebrates the soldier

Check out the blog later this week to hear more about the “packages” aspect of SAF and learn about the care packages we have in the works for troops currently deployed


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