Several U.S troops dedicate their lives and services to our country. One local veteran gave 11 years of his life serving in the U.S Army. Now, he spends his time serving at the American Red Cross in Mississippi. Heath Dearman,is the service to the arm forces program specialist and has spent the last 3 years, ensuring important messages get delivered, in a timely manner. Dearman is ready for his next deployment which involves traveling to Kuwait
“My total deployment there will probably be around six nights, maybe a little over, I’ll get to Kuwait maybe around the middle of July, and I’ll leave around the end of January next year.”
According to Dearman, it takes a lengthy process when trying to get messages delivered from the Red Cross to military personnel.
“Our American Red Cross Staff members at our deployed stations: the primary mission is delivery of those emergency communications, so when a service member, family member, of a service member here request emergency communication to be sent. It is verified here at our call centers in the United States and, if it’s going to certain areas such as Iraq, Kuwait, or Afghanistan, it actually gets dispatched to our Kuwait station for delivery to the command right there.”
Dearman stresses how important it is if messages don’t’ get reached to the military personnel.
“Our service members and our military commanders depend on our messages for two major reasons, it provides them a notification if an emergency happens in the immediate family, and give their commander a verified tool to help them make a leave decision. A lot of these emergencies ,we send messages for are for injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the immediate family but, they also include other time-sensitive critical family emergencies that require the service members notification or presence.”
Dearman says having prior military experience helps in getting messages delivered.
"It’s already served me well, as in knowing the military language, knowing how to be the liaison, and talk to commanders and military members in their own language that sometimes people would struggle with that, but my background makes it easy for me so, it’s really helped me with relationship building and definitely once I get overseas, it’s not like I haven’t been in that kind of situation before so, for some people it’s a culture shock for me, its kind of I’m going back."