Red Cross offers webinars to military families

Tuesday, December 7 2010

Military families have a lot to deal with when their soldier is deployed, but the Iowa Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross is trying to make things a little easier by utilizing the latest internet technologies to help the loved ones of service members stay informed, reports the Times - Republican.

As area troops continue to be deployed to Afghanistann and Iraq, the Red Cross is offering webinars to facilitate support group meetings. The webinars will hopefully help families save on the extra expense of travel and babysitters required to attend meetings in person, since the families of the deployed units are so spread out across Iowa.

"Instead of those physical meetings, we thought the best thing to do would be to utilize technology and provide webinars," Mary Dooley, executive director of the Iowa Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross, told the newspaper.

The webinars generally focus on what families may be dealing with at a particular point in time and have included an introduction to the culture and people of Afghanistan and how to deal with depression after the holidays.

"We try to share information that's going to be relevant for the families involved," Dooley said.

The Red Cross has a history of aiding military families. The organization has been delivering emergency messages such as birth, illnesses or death announcements to military members since the Spanish-American War.