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Marcella Franklin to Head Red Cross Regional Support for Military

Marcella Franklin has joined the American Red Cross Central California Region as the new Service to the Armed Forces Regional Program Manager. In this position, she will lead the region’s support of local veterans, active duty military, and their families.

“Marcella’s passion for our mission and unique background is ideal in expanding our work serving military families and veterans here in our local communities,” said Jim McGee, Regional Red Cross CEO.

Franklin comes to the Red Cross with extensive military experience, serving the country for over a decade both at home and far away in war zones.

Compelled by the sacrifice and honor of her countrymen and women, she worked nearly two years at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Her experiences there led her to volunteer for deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she served as a program manager, advisor and foreign service officer with multiple U.S. agencies and military branches.

Franklin first joined the Red Cross family as a volunteer, earning the 2015 Service to the Armed Forces Volunteer Award for outstanding service and leadership in the region’s military programs.

“It is an honor to serve those who have served us all,” Franklin said.

Franklin is succeeding Kelley Reszetylo, who recently accepted a promotion to become the region’s new volunteer services officer, leading a team of volunteer specialists throughout the region focused on volunteer recruitment and engagement.

Franklin will be based at the Naval Base Ventura County (Pt. Hueneme) in the Red Cross office within the Fleet and Family Support Center; her work will span the Central California Region's 10 counties: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare.

Under her management, the SAF program will serve veterans, military families, and active/reserve/retired service members; and aid the Fresno VA Hospital and local, federal and state VA facilities.

It also will conduct — in partnership with a military unit and/or base command at Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme/Point Mugu — California Army National Guard Camp Roberts, California Army National Guard Camp San Luis Obispo, California Air National Guard Fresno, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Naval Air Station Lemoore.
The Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Program dates back to the establishment of the American Red Cross by Clara Barton in 1881, as she tended to soldiers wounded in the Civil War and bolstered morale.

Today the SAF program carries on this tradition of service for U.S. Armed Forces, ensuring service members, veterans and their families have worldwide access to timely and reliable humanitarian and support services.

In the Central California Region, local SAF services will be executed by Franklin and her team of volunteers. They include partnerships with the local VA hospital and medical facilities and reconnection workshops to help military families build skills for successful reintegration at home.

Most recently, the Red Cross SAF program has launched the brand new Hero Care mobile application, designed to help members of the military, veterans and their families identify and access both emergency and non-emergency Red Cross services from anywhere in the world.

— Jessica Piffero for the American Red Cross.


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