More than blood drives: The American Red Cross

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

In 1881, Clara Barton founded an organization that would prove indispensible to not only U.S. servicemembers but the nation as a whole: the American Red Cross. During a trip to Europe, Barton learned about the Swiss Red Cross and the Geneva Convention and was determined to lobby for the humanitarian needs of others. In 1882, the U.S. government ratified the American Red Cross and adopted the Geneva Conventions.

Today, the American Red Cross serves more than 2 million servicemembers, including active-duty, guard and reserve, as well as family members and retirees. Not only does the Red Cross organize community blood drives and disaster relief services, it also provides a critical communication link for servicemembers separated from loved ones. The American Red Cross offers reintegration assistance to personnel returning from deployment.

In the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) and Rhein Main areas, there are six offices and stations: Ramstein AB, Landstuhl, Baumholder, Spangdahlem, Kleber Kaserne and Wiesbaden. Remote stations are located in Italy, Spain and other parts of Europe. Each station offers different programs and classes. For instance, the Hero Welcome Center at Kleber is dedicated to in-processing soldiers.

Many Red Cross programs would not be possible without volunteers who donate their time. If you’re interested in helping your local Red Cross, visit

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