Red Cross Services To Armed Forces Offers Comfort When Families Need it Most

Written by Doug Harvey, Communications Intern

Jesse Goerl with his Mom, Michelle Plamann

There isn’t a household in American that hasn’t benefitted from the life-saving mission of the Red Cross.  In fact, not a moment passes where a life hasn’t been served or saved by the Red Cross. Michelle Plamann, of Appleton, recently found out how true that statement really is.

Michelle’s son, Jesse, is a member of the United States Navy. Jesse’s military deployments keep him away from his family for months at a time. This can be tough for any family, but is definitely felt more when tragedy strikes. Michelle’s father, Emro Plamann, Jesse’s grandfather, was hospitalized shortly after Jesse’s latest deployment. He passed only two weeks later at the age of 69.

Emro played an important role in Jesse’s life. Jesse had lived with his grandparents for many years before joining the Navy. Upon her father’s death, Michelle was absolutely devastated.  With the loss of her father it was imperative she received comfort from her family. She had no way to contact her son to inform him of his grandfather’s passing and to be there for her. That’s where the Red Cross came into play. Michelle heard of the work of the American Red Cross Services to Armed Forces program from a friend of hers that used to work there.  She contacted the Red Cross with hopes of getting her son home. A caseworker contacted Jesse’s officer, and within a few days, he was home.

While Jesse was not able to be with his grandfather during his last few weeks, he was able to attend his memorial service and celebrate Emro’s life with family and friends. Jesse’s grandfather was an inspiration to him and he was grateful to be with his family during this trying time. 

“Without the American Red Cross Jesse would’ve missed his grandfather’s funeral,” said Michelle. “Thank God for the Red Cross.”

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