American Red Cross Supports US Armed Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan

Dr. Nancy Bohl-Penrod has 30 years of experience providing psychotherapy to emergency personnel and victims of disasters. In addition, Dr. Nancy Bohl-Penrod served with the American Red Cross during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Dr. Nancy Bohl earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the California Graduate Institute in Los Angeles.

The American Red Cross’ partnership with the U.S. military traces its roots to Red Cross founder Clara Barton and her colleagues’ treatment of soldiers during the Spanish-American War. In more recent years, Red Cross members have appeared with U.S. forces in the Middle East and other parts of the globe.

In Operation Desert Storm, 158 Red Cross staff traveled to the Middle East while their colleagues stateside helped the families of U.S. service members. During this time, seven American Red Cross workers won the Bronze Star, the military’s fourth highest award, for their service.

During Operation Enduring Freedom, the Red Cross set up operations in Afghanistan with a main office at Bagram Air Force Base. Supporting a team of 73 individuals, the facility processed more than 59,000 emergency messages during the main phase of its operations between December 2002 and July 2011. Still open today, the Red Cross office maintains a canteen, a library, and a video center.

Meanwhile during Operation Iraqi Freedom, which began in 2003, Red Cross members deployed alongside U.S. forces in Iraq. Living under the same harsh conditions as American soldiers, they distributed hundreds of thousands of supplies (such as toiletries and cards for families) and emergency messages. The Red Cross also operates offices in Kuwait and the Republic of Djibouti.

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