On this Veterans Day 2020, on behalf of the American Red Cross Eastern New York Region, I salute our veterans, currently active men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. As a son of a Navy veteran, I am in awe of their courage and commitment to service. Their sacrifices are extraordinary in “ordinary” times, but COVID-19 has brought more anxiety and uncertainty to their unique situations. 

For 140 years, the American Red Cross has been there for these brave families, to provide compassionate support to address critical needs at every stage of service.  We remain committed to serving the military community at every step – from the time a service member takes the oath to navigating life as a veteran.  We are here to help members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service.

As part of our Service to the Armed Forces program, Red Cross volunteers provide home comforts and critical services on bases and in military hospitals across the country and around the world; they support military families during deployments and during emergencies; and they continue serving our nation’s veterans after their service ends, both in-person and virtually. 

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the Red Cross team has been working around the clock to address an array of emerging challenges—including those related to health concerns, longer periods of time away from loved ones and increased stress — that the virus has placed on veterans, service members and their families. To that end, the Red Cross has adapted our crisis counselling, family workshops to a virtual setting, and improved supply distribution to ensure health protocols. 

Each day across the 27 counties in our region, we help support military families. Nationally, since 9/11 we have served more than one million military families. During this time of crisis, we stand ready to continue to support the next million. 

To all active and retired service members and their families, please know that on Veterans Day and every day, our gratitude for your sacrifices remains as strong as ever. 

Kevin Coffey

Regional CEO

American Red Cross Eastern New York Region