Red Cross throws annual Armed Forces Family Network Picnic

FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - It is never easy being separated from a loved one stationed overseas in the armed forces.

It could be your favorite brother.

"Fun to be around. Sucks to have him over there" says Trinity Powell of her brother Britton.

That's why the American Red Cross Chapter in Hancock County threw it's annual Armed Forces Family Network picnic on Thursday night.

It's an opportunity for area military families to relax and bond with one another.

They can play corn hole, enjoy a game of volleyball or even have their portraits sketched by artist Rob Prisk.

"It's something I feel obligated to do because there's people overseas doing things I can't" says Prisk.

The Network is there to help families successfully prepare for, manage and transition through the challenges of military life.

"We have resiliency training, deployment courses, our re-connection workshop to help re-integrate our service members when they come home," according to Todd James of the Red Cross.

The Network is helping people like Brittany Schaffier, whose husband Frankie is stationed in Afghanistan with The Ohio Army National Guard. They communicate every day via Skype, but it is still rough for this mother of two kids.

"It's kind of challenging technically being a single mom right now to battle with everyday challenges" she says.

Schaffier's dad Doug Lear may need help from the Network too.

Schaeffier also belongs to The National Guard, and will soon ship out to Saudi Arabia for a 9 month deployment, leaving her two kids with family members.

"Haven't gone there yet. We'll see how that comes about. I know it will bother me more when she wants to leave," says Lear.

For more information about the Armed Forces Family Network, contact the Hancock County chapter of the American Red Cross at 419-422-9322.

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