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Service to the Armed Forces Important Part of Red Cross Mission
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Red Cross
May 13, 2009

Susanne Harlandt grew up as the daughter of a career Army officer during a tumultuous time in our country"s history – the Vietnam War. She saw first-hand how a war affected those who served in it and wants to dedicate her life to providing support to the members of the armed forces.

Susan Harlandt
Susanne Harlandt, SAF Staffer

For the past four years, Harlandt has worked with men and women in the military as part of the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program. She has helped the men and women serving in the military in Korea, Iraq, Germany, and her current assignment at Fort Carson, Colorado. She has been with the Red Cross since 2001, first as a volunteer for the Mt. Baker Chapter in the state of Washington, and, for the last four years, as a member of the SAF staff

"I believe we all owe a great deal to our men and women in uniform who unhesitatingly answer the call to duty, and we share a collective responsibility to care for them in any way we can." said Harlandt.

The SAF staffer says the greatest part of her job is providing support to Wounded Warriors and their families, whether that help is with material items, a simple barbecue, or through the work of Red Cross volunteers.

"Seeing the effects of combat in the eyes of our service members is a kind of déjà vous," Harlandt said. "I remember seeing the same hurt in those who served in Vietnam and subsequent conflicts. Finally being in a position to support them is my greatest reward."

Susanne worries that lack of funding will affect her ability to offer consistent support to the soldiers on Fort Carson, people who have needs that are great and complex. 

"Our ability to provide for some of those needs is dependent on the financial generosity of our donors," she reported. "My greatest worry is that we will establish a consistency of support and lose the ability to continue it.

"Our country has a large military population and providing service to them is so rewarding," she said. "We do make a difference out here in the field. We see it every single day."

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.

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