Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Local Red Cross Employee to Deploy to Afghanistan on Sunday

Photo Credit: Donna Martinez/American Red Cross

Local Red Cross Employee to Deploy to Afghanistan on Sunday
By Jennifer Mariano, Director, Community Relations and Support for PPARC
(June 23, 2010, Colorado Springs) Susanne Harlandt, Station Manager at the Fort Carson American Red Cross is leaving Sunday for Afghanistan, her second deployment into a combat zone for the American Red Cross. Susanne spent 5 months in Iraq in 2007. Her primary function in Iraq and again in Afghanistan is delivery of emergency messages from Service Member's families who are stateside.
(Photo Courtesy of Susanne Harlandt)
One of the Red Cross' most important responsibilities is to make sure service members and their families stay in touch with each other; especially during a crisis. In the early days of the Red Cross, volunteers would help wounded soldiers write letters home. Today, in the age of cell phones and email, the Red Cross Emergency Communication Network is vital to service members, their families and commanders in the field. Military commanders know in times of family crisis, they can rely on the Red Cross to verify and quickly relay important and confidential information to military personnel. Susanne tears up when she recalls some of the difficult messages that she has had to deliver to service members during her 5 month deployment to Iraq, "Thankfully not all messages are bad," Susanne says, "I have had the privilege of congratulating daddies on the birth of their new son or daughter. What a joy to share such news and celebrate the birth of a new family member."
When she is not delivering emergency messages, Susanne will work to help keep morale up by providing a place where military personnel can see a friendly face or take some time to relax. Susanne hangs out with service members who come to the common area staffed by the Red Cross. Service Members can get a "good cup of coffee" , snacks, read, put puzzles together, and simply relax and focus on something other than work. The Red Cross is able to provide these items to service members through care packages that are sent to Afghanistan. If you are interested in sending a care package to Susanne, please see the information below.
Care packages can be mailed to Susanne at the following address:
American Red Cross
Attn: Susanne Harlandt
Bagram, AFB
APO, AE 09354

The following are items are highly requested items from our service members:
candy (no chocolate as it will melt), gum, popcorn, beef jerky, crackers, pretzels, coffee (Starbucks VIA is a favorite), books, magazines, and puzzles

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