If your family has an emergency at home and you must contact your soldier, be sure to contact the Red Cross. If the emergency requires that your soldier come home, Red Cross-verified information helps commanding officers makes decisions about emergency leave and it is up to the military whether the service member returns home.
Without Red Cross verification, your soldier may not be able to come home during a family emergency.
The Red Cross emergency communication services keep military service members in touch with their families following the death or serious illness of an immediate family member, birth of a service member’s child or grandchild, or when a family has other emergencies.
Red Cross can help twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. They will relay urgent messages and verified descriptions of the emergency to service members stationed anywhere in the world including ships at sea and remote locations.
How to Contact the Red Cross for Assistance
Call (877) 272-7337 (toll-free) if you are an Active duty service member stationed in the United States, or a family member residing with them.
Contact your local Red Cross chapter, which is listed in local telephone directory and at Your Local Red Cross, if you are:
- Family members of active duty service members who do not reside in the service members’ household,
- Family members of Department of Defense Civilians assigned overseas
- members of the National Guard and Reserves,
- recruiters, MEPS military personnel
- veterans and
Call overseas base or installation operators or the Red Cross office at your location if you are:
- Active-duty service members and family members residing with them or
- Department of Defense civilians stationed overseas and family members residing with them.
When calling the Red Cross, please provide as much of the following information about the service member as is known:
- Full name
- Branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard)
- Social Security Account number or date of birth
- Military address
- Information about the deployed unit and home base unit (for deployed service members only)
UPDATE: In June 2010, ISAF added new Regional Command Southwest (RC SW). With the majority of ISAF forces based in southern Afghanistan, this new RC allows commands to focus on geographically smaller areas.
The new Regional Command SW splits up Regional Command South into two areas:
- RC Southwest – Helmand and Nimroz Provinces
- RC South – Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, and Daykundi Provinces
Original article written – March 26,2010
You may have read about or heard your soldier mention RC North, RC South, RC East, or RC West. RC refers to Regional Command areas in Afghanistan. There are five regional commands under the operational control of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
There is a lead nation for each Regional Command that has responsibility for coordinating all regional civil-military activities conducted by the military elements of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is a unit introduced by the United States government, consisting of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, working to support reconstruction efforts in unstable states. PRTs were first established in Afghanistan in late 2001 or early 2002.
Each Regional Commands includes the following:
- Command and Control (C2) Headquarters
- Forward Support Base (FSB) that is an essential logistic installation, created to provide supply, medical and transport hub in each region to assist the PRTs in their mission to extend the Government of Aghanistan’s authority.
The following lists the Regional Commands in Afghanistan. Each listing includes the location (city, province) and lead country (given in parentheses) for each command region. For example, if the listing is: Lashkar-Gah, Helmand (Britain), then the city is Lashkar-Gah, the province is Helmand, and the lead country is Britain.
RC (C) – Regional Command Capital (France)
C2 HQ: Kabul (France)
FSB: Kabul International Airport (KAIA) (Hungary)
RC (S) – Regional Command South (The Netherlands):
C2 HQ: Kandahar (UK)
FSB: Kandahar Airfield
Kandahar, Kandahar (The Netherlands)
Lashkar-Gah, Helmand (Britain)
Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan (Netherlands)
Qalat, Zabol (Romania, USA)
RC (N) – Regional Command North (Germany):
C2 HQ: Mazar-e-Sharif (Germany)
FSB: Mazar-e-Sharif (Germany)
Kunduz, Kunduz Province (Germany)
Mazar-e Sharif, Balkh (Sweden)
Feyzabad, Badakhshan (Germany)
Pol-e Khomri, Baghlan (Hungary)
Meymaneh, Faryab (Norway)
RC (W) – Regional Command West (Italy):
C2 HQ: Herat (Italy)
FSB: Herat (Spain)
Herat, Herat (Italy)
Farah, Farah (USA)
Qala-e Naw, Badghis (Spain)
Chaghcharan, Gowr (Lithuania)
RC (E) – Regional Command East (United States):
C2 HQ: Bagram (US)
FSB: Bagram (US)
Bamyan, Bamyan (New Zealand)
Bagram, Parwan (USA)
Nurestan, Nurestan (USA)
Panjshir, Panjshir (USA)
Gardez, Paktia (USA)
Ghazni, Ghazni (Poland, USA)
Khowst, Khowst (USA)
Sharan, Paktika (USA)
Jalalabad, Nangarhar (USA)
Asadabad, Kunar (USA)
Mihtarlam, Laghman (USA)
Wardak, Wardak (Turkey)
Logar, Logar (Czech Republic)
I had 2 sons that deployed to Iraq. My oldest son Brandon deployed in 2003 and my youngest in 2007.
It all happened so fast. One day I was signing a check for dorm fees for Brandon when he walked into the room and said, “Mom I met a man” and he said, if I joined the Army I could go to Italy…so I did.
Wow, that was different for me. Not that I was alien to the Army being an Army brat. I just never thought of my son in this way.
2 weeks later my son went off to Boot Camp and 2 weeks after that 9/11 happened. One year and a half later, my son, my beautiful little boy was walking into Iraq.
Everything was so confusing and I was scared, so I called my Dad, a Vietnam Vet, and expressed my fears. When my Dad returned home from the war he was spit upon
He promptly told me that my son was short and could run under the bullets.
Oh my … then he told me about care packages — how to make them and what to send.
So I started sending a package a day for 40 days, along with hopes and prayers from home. Right away the packages started flowing and when Brandon’s 1st Sgt. was asked about him, he referred to him as the luckiest man in Iraq!!!
While my son was receiving all these packages from home, many soldiers did not receive any packages or letters. Our heroes needed us!
That was the start of Soldiers’ Angels. Since our mission started, the number of Angels and heroes connected by love, support and gratitude has grown into the hundreds of thousands.
I knew in my heart I wanted to support my son and I wanted to be there as he achieved his destiny. I wanted everyone to help and see how brave my son and all the men and women were. How they were trying so hard and handling themselves with honor. It was just 2 years before his deployment Brandon was sitting in front of the television eating Corn Flakes and watching Scooby Doo. Now, he was freeing a country.
I said it then and I say it now. How did we raise such fine young people? These fine young brave souls are the only ones standing between me and a Burkah. I truly believe that.
So, all you Army Mom Strong Moms of heroes, I tip my wings to you for you have the hardest jobs of all. You have to stand on the sidelines and just love and support. For this is their time and what a time it is.
May God Bless Our Troops and May God Bless America.
Founder, Soldiers’ Angels
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) is the evacuation and treatment center for injured U.S. Service Members and members of 44 coalition forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa Command, Central Command, European Command and Pacific Command.
When soldiers are injured while serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, they are first treated at a U.S. Army Combat Hospital at a Forward Operating Base (FOB). If necessary, patients are then transported to a level II military treatment facility (MTF). The closest is Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
LRMC is the largest American hospital outside the U.S. and also provides medical treatments to over 245,000 military personnel and their families within Europe.
C-17 Globemasters and C-130 Hercules aircraft are commonly used to medevac patients to the hospital in Germany from places like Afghanistan (7 hours) and Iraq (5 hours). The medevac aircraft has specialized medical equipment on-board and specialized personnel that care for the patients during the flight to LRMC. They land at Ramstein Air Base, Germany and are bused to Landstuhl in specialized medical buses.
The medical facilities in Germany are transitional facilities. After a short stay (3 days to 3 weeks), the patients either return to Iraq or Afghanistan or are flown to a medical facility in the US for further treatment.
Is Your Passport Up-to-date?
We hate to think of our soldier getting wounded in action (WIA), but out in a war zone, that is reality. It’s a good idea to have make sure your passport is current in case your soldier is injured and transported to Landstuhl. You’ll want to be at your soldier’s side quickly. It can take several weeks to get a passport. Passport information: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
Soldiers’ Angels Germany
Soldiers’ Angels in Germany supports patients medevac’d to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center from Iraq and Afghanistan. They are an amazing group that has provided comfort at the side of many injured soldiers from war zones. Soldiers’ Angels also provides backpacks with basic necessities like toiletries and clothing. Learn more about Soldiers’ Angels Germany: http://soldiersangelsgermany.blogspot.com
Find out more about Soldiers’ Angels: http://soldiersangels.org
Find out more about Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
This video shows a C-17 Critical Care transport from Iraq.
Are you living the American Dream? Thomas Wolfe said, “…to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ….the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him.”
The American Dream is different for each person, depending on their definition and desire. I am proud to say that my son is living his American Dream as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot. I raised him to be an independent, strong, and confident man. Most of all, I raised him with the belief that he can choose to do whatever he wants in life and follow his heart and his passion. My mantra has always been, “to thine ownself be true”.
He just did that! When he joined the Army, it was the beginning of fullfilling his childhood dream. He had a vision for his future and followed the path to get there. I am so proud of my son for choosing to live his dream.
In living his American Dream, he is also defending our great nation so that we can continue in freedom and live our American Dream too. How great is that?
“I believe in America because we have great dreams – and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.” ~Wendell L. Wilkie
Around the world great happiness tours
And leprechauns have their mischief chores
Keep a keen eye for that Billy Mc Goat
Sneaking off food, all he can tote
And look out for Old Patio Stool
Though he’d avoid you, you’re way too cool
If a leprechaun zoomed pasteurize
He’d not fluster you my precious prize
If you do wear a touch of the green
You may yearn to join a lively scene
My heartfelt love is gleaming for you
You’re my four-leaf clover, my true blue
To your great buddies on this grand day
I send my love with a heart bouquet
God love you GI, I am so proud
I’d yell these words very clear and loud
You’re a treasure of love, on display
I do pray to God, to guide your way
©2010 Roger J. Robicheau
Sandstorms occur mainly in the regions of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Northern China. Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, or Kuwait will likely get hit with a sandstorm during their time there. Sand Storms are among nature’s most violent and unpredictable phenomena.
When a sandstorm occurs, it is like a wall of sand approaching . When engulfed, visibility is poor to none and high winds blow sand everywhere – there is no escape. To stay safe during a sandstorm, a person should wear goggles and cover their mouth and nose with cloth.
That’s where sand scarfs come in handy! They keep sand from nostrils and mouth, and when tucked into the shirt, prevent sand from getting inside clothing.
The Scarves Team over at Soldiers’ Angels makes Sand Scarves for our troops deployed to the “Sandbox.” These scarves protect the wearer from the elements, increasing their comfort level, safety and ability to focus on their work. Sand Scarves are available for purchase!
Learn more about the Soldiers’ Angels Scarves project and how you can help! Many soldiers have already received these scarves in care packages and love them! They put them to good use right away!
The Soldiers’ Angels Sand Scarf is made of 100% cotton for comfort and is used to protect our brave soldiers from the elements of the deserts of the middle east.
- Protects face, neck and ears from dust, sand, mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, etc.
- Fabric is good for all weather climates
- great for sand, desert and wooded environments
- blends well with camouflage military attire
- assists with breathing in blowing wind and protects from sand and other debris
- Great item to place in care-packages.
Head over to the Soldiers’ Angels store and buy one or two or more! Our soldiers will appreciate it! You can send sand scarves to yourself (to pack in a care package), to your soldier, or any HERO.
Visit Soldiers’ Angels. Soldiers’ Angels is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) non-profit with over 225,000 members providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, veterans and their families
Developed by the American Red Cross, the Coping With Deployments course addresses the stresses and strains that deployments place on the families of service members. This course was created for military family members (spouses, parents, siblings, and significant others) from all lines of service.
The Coping with Deployment course helps with information on how to strengthen your ability to cope with the challenges that military families deal with during the deployment cycle. Also included is information on how to provide psychological first aid to others experiencing stressful feelings or events.
if you live around Fairfield County, Ohio, the American Red Cross in Fairfield County is sponsoring their “Coping with Deployment” course on March 20 from 9 am – 3 pm. Lunch is provided and the course is free. Just register by calling 740-687-5585. Click here to find out more.
To find out if there is a Coping with Deployments course in your area, contact your local Red
Cross chapter by visiting RedCross.org.
Have you taken this course? Please leave a comment and let us know how you liked it
In peace or war time, the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) helps provide quality blood products for Service members and their families. The ASBP has many components that work together to collect, process, store, distribute, and transfuse blood worldwide. This program is a joint operation between military services including the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Now, the program’s most important mission is supporting troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Blood is shipped to those locatoins several times per week. According to Lt. Col. Deehr, “Having an adequate supply of blood in forward areas can mean the difference between life and death for those injured in the line of duty. To make sure blood is available for those who need it most, the ASBP relies on strong donor support and routinely scheduled blood drives.”
Military donor centers can accept blood donations from military service members, their immediate families, retirees, and DoD employees. Donations from non-DoD civilians who fit the ASBP eligibility criteria and have access to the blood drive will be gratefully accepted.
You Can Help by Donating Blood
ASBP has 20 blood doner centers in the U.S. and around the world. Visit the website to get information on locations and scheduled blood drives.
Even if you cannot donate blood, ASBP has many other ways that you can help! You can help:
- Organize a blood drive
- Encourage others to donate
- Help a friend donate
- Volunteer at a blood drive
When you become a Military family, there are many new things to learn about, like Military acronyms and terms (who knows what all this stuff means), chain of command, family readiness groups, traditions and protocols, deployment cycles, and the list goes on.
Army One Source compiles important, credible and up-to-date information for Army Soldiers and Family members to access at any time of day, regardless of component or physical location.
Army One Source offers FREE Army Family Team Building (AFTB) e-learning courses that are available to anyone with ties to a soldier. All you need to do to take an e-course is:
- Register on the site.
- Use Internet Explorer as your Internet browser
- Choose a course.
I was so excited to hear about these courses from a friend! Some of the available courses will get you more familiar with Military life in no time!
For example, the AFTB Level I Training teaches you everything from Military acronyms and terms, to Military customs and courtesies. There is also a Level II and III training,
The Battlemind Training for Spouses was developed to help Spouses and their Families face deployments with resilience and strength, allowing easier separations and smoother reunions. Even if you are not a Military spouse, the information you learn here can be applied to you too.