Lynn Romans, a resident of Radcliff, Kentucky, first joined the Red Cross in 1990 when her youngest child went to school. She began work in the ACCEPT credit counseling service, and in the 26 years since she has been everything from an Administrative Coordinator in Field Services to a Database Administrator in Financial Development. Now, Lynn is a Program Specialist for the organization’s Service to Armed Forces (SAF) where she helps coordinate and promote the division’s activities.
The American Red Cross has been providing services to U.S. Armed Forces in Kentucky and Indiana since 1917. As a military mom, the impact SAF makes is especially important to Lynn.
While the SAF Hero Care Call Center at the Louisville Area Chapter gets the most notoriety, Lynn and the SAF division are constantly giving back to the military community. Much of Lynn’s job is networking with veterans agencies and promoting the activities of the SAF. They work with other organizations, nonprofits, Fort Knox and the Pet Therapy teams at the Clark County Red Cross office in Southern Indiana to help provide services to veterans, active duty military personnel and their families. Every Memorial Day they set up a booth to welcome and support riders participating in the annual Run for the Wall, a cross country motorcycle ride to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. hosted to promote healing among veterans and to honor Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action or Killed in Action.
One of the activities that Lynn enjoys the most is reaching out to military personnel who are preparing to ship out to basic training through programs at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS).
At MEPS, Red Cross staff gives briefings to new recruits and their families so they can “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us” and learn about the services the Red Cross provides. These include counseling and social services to military families, and the emergency communication services that keep military personnel in touch with their loved ones in the event of emergencies, including the death of an immediate family member or the birth of a child. The Red Cross is also present during yellow ribbon programs and homecomings to let military families know what services are available to them.
“If you’ve been here long enough, everyone has done a little bit of everything,” said Lynn. “I never would have guessed I would be here.”
“Most people do not know the relationship between the Red Cross and the Armed Forces,” said Lynn. Making that relationship known is important to her, because it’s the people that matter to her most; the military personnel and families she helps serve, and the passionate and caring people she works with who come together to get the job done. Lynn encourages others to look into the services provided by SAF, and asks that people remember and support our troops.