The center "is critical to the Defense Department, service members and their families," said Gail McGinn, DoD's representative on Red Cross matters.
"I think it's going to make the system more accessible and more seamless.Basically, you don't have to worry about finding an office.
They are available with just a telephone call." McGinn is currently serving as DoD's principal director for personnel support, families and education.She, as well as other DoD staff members, worked with the Red Cross on the project from the beginning to help ensure service members' needs would continue to be met with the new system. She
said without Red Cross support, DoD
would have to establish a massive communications network that would be costly, time consuming and labor intensive.And even then, she
pointed out, it wouldn't have the Red Cross'
When a commander in the field receives an emergency message from the Red Cross
about one of his
service members, he
knows the message is reliable, McGinn
said, "Service members know they are getting information that has been verified and that there's someone who can arrange financial assistance and help with travel." McGinn
and Dole both emphasized that the new system will not alter other Red Cross services provided at installations worldwide, including health and safety education, volunteer recruitment, and placement and disaster services.
"Our responsibilities have changed over the years, but the commitment of the men and women in this room to the men and women who serve our country remains the same," Dole said.
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