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Military Retiree Helps Veterans and Service Members as Red Cross Volunteer
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By Caitlin Cobb, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
November 12, 2009

M. Ann Harris retired from the Air Force after nearly 22 years of service. Now she continues to serve her country's service members as a volunteer with the Service to the Armed Forces program at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County.

The Service to the Armed Forces program provides resources for military personnel -- active, reserve and veteran. Among the services offered are emergency communications between families and service members stationed all over the world. The Red Cross also provides counseling, referrals and access to financial assistance in partnership with the military aid societies.

At Travis Air Force Base, Red Cross volunteers help individuals in the military connect with their families and feel a sense of home even when they are on deployment. Harris is key to recruiting and supporting volunteers to help with the Red Cross services.

"I try to make things comfortable for everybody," Harris said of her work with the Red Cross. "I think I have the gift of helping, and I like to serve."

In addition to the emergency communications services, the volunteers at Travis Air Force Base this year are also creating a new lounge at the hospital for wounded soldiers and acting as a sorting center for holiday cards sent by Americans as part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

Harris believes her work with the Red Cross allows her to continue serving the community and helping others.

"I think just being there and knowing that service members have somewhere to turn when they have a need is really outstanding," Harris said.


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