Friday, 26 April 2013

So I wanted to get this post done last night but after working for nearly 22 hours I gave in to the sandman, ahh the deployed life :-/

Anyways! Yesterday morning was probably the most incredible Red Cross event I have ever attended in the history of my 4 deployments. The outgoing Red Cross team who we replaced had organized a 5k base run in partnership with the Army Reserve Office. They had 500 people registered for the run and had booked a gigantic MWR (Morale, Wellness and Recreation) tent called The Clamshell where they had a band playing, tables full of drinks and food for after the run and another set of tables where runners could collect their shirts after the race. They also organized prizes for the top finishers and a raffle.

The most incredible part about the event however was the unprecedented opportunity for the Red Cross to talk about our mission. Because we only deploy in teams of four members - in many cases the only four Red Crossers in the whole country - people often don't know what we do until they need a Red Cross message and they don't know about our work with the hospitals and morale building because we don't have the man power or resources like the USO.

This event was unlike anything I've seen before- having a team member of the outgoing team address an audience of 500 people and explain our mission. It was the first time I've ever seen that kind of recognition for our work and after so many deployments, I have to say it was really heart warming.

The race itself was a blast and afterwards I was responsible for the table that was distributing the t-shirts which was wonderfully frenetic and fast-paced. Then, in true deployment fashion, with the race started at 6am, at 7am the outgoing team raced over to the PAX terminal to make a flight with a wheels up time of 8am. Rumor has it they held the plane for them...

I can't think of a more appropriate swan song then an audience of 500 applauding your work :-)

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