WASHINGTON, March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is providing support through its Hero Care Network to assist military spouses and children returning from Turkey after an ordered departure was announced by the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State on Tuesday because of continued security concerns in the region.
"Our Red Cross staff and volunteers at Ramstein Air Base have worked tirelessly to provide comfort and care for those families who departed Turkey this week on short notice for a long journey home. We have been in 24/7 support operations since the unplanned evacuation of these families was announced on Tuesday," said Koby Langley, senior vice president, Service to the Armed Forces at the American Red Cross. "Here stateside, our Red Cross team is preparing to meet the first wave of returning families as they land. Through the use of our integrated case management system and referral network, we are committed to supporting them no matter their final destination."
Starting in Germany, the Red Cross, in partnership with the USO, is providing food, beverages, hygiene items, and first aid kits to departing families. Volunteers are also providing morale and welfare support including a first aid station, activities for children, and mental health care for families and children waiting in passenger terminals.
Upon their arrival in the U.S., the Red Cross is helping to ensure that families needing overnight lodging have a place to stay, a hot meal, and health services if needed. Volunteers with behavioral health training are also on hand to lend a friendly ear and assist with any unforeseen needs.
When families arrive at their final destinations, the Red Cross will provide follow-up services, depending on the individual needs of each family. These services could include referrals to local, state or federal resources to ease the burden of this short-notice reintegration.
Follow-on behavioral health support will also be available free of charge, no matter where their next duty assignment may be.
"Situations like this can be a stressful time for members of the military and their loved ones," said Langley. "The Red Cross is where the military has been turning to for help for the last 130 years. The work we do means our heroes can stay focused on their mission with the peace of mind knowing that their families will be well taken care of."
For stateside families who have not had a chance to connect with their loved ones, they can check with the Red Cross Safe and Well linking system at www.redcross.org/safeandwell. The Safe and Well website provides a secure method for individuals and families to reconnect with loved ones in the aftermath of a disaster or large scale evacuation; in this case, the website can provide support and information for families who have departed Turkey and had no time or means of connecting with loved ones back home prior to their departure.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or redcross.org/cruz-roja, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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SOURCE American Red Cross