The American Red Cross helps nearly 50,000 deployed service men and women get home to their families each year during emergencies. Since Beaufort's troops started deploying for Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Palmetto chapter of the Red Cross has helped more than 120 service members get home because a family member was sick, to attend a funeral, or for other emergencies.
Fifteen years ago, the Red Cross helped Navy veteran Linda Green get home to see her sick mother and a second time for her funeral.
"My mother, she was on dialysis, and I got a Red Cross message saying they didn't think she would make it," she recalled. "Our command got the message and I was flown home immediately."
During emergencies, the Red Cross relays messages between service members and their families, picks up travel expenses, and provides family support.