McAlester-(AP) -- The McAlester Red Cross is the messenger for the military and their families in Oklahoma.
With about 500 local soldiers in training and preparing to deploy, the office expects to be busy.
McAlester Red Cross office is the military's communication link with civilian family members.
Billie Cathey, director of the Southeast Oklahoma Red Cross Chapter say the deployment of local national guard members will increase their case load by 25-percent.
The chapter covers twelve counties. The Red Cross carries urgent messages about births, deaths or other family crisis from a family member to a soldier. Service members can call the Red Cross and ask them to check on family or relay other information.
Nationally the Red Cross has done this since 1905.