The Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program dates back to the establishment of the American Red Cross by Clara Barton in May 1881. Not only did the “Angel of the Battlefield” risk her life tending to soldiers wounded in the Civil War, she bolstered their morale by writing letters for them to send to their families. Today’s American Red Cross workers proudly carry on this tradition through the SAF program, which serves as a critical line of communication between the U.S Armed Forces and their families.
Emergency Communications — SAF sends messages about urgent news from home—a serious illness, the birth of a child or the death of a loved one—to service men and women anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and isolated military units.
Emergency Financial Assistance — In partnership with military aid societies, SAF facilitates the distribution of financial and/or travel assistance to qualifying military personnel and their families who are experiencing financial hardship or are in need of travel subsidies to fund visits with injured or sick loved ones or attend a memorial service.
Reconnection Workshops — Presented by Wal-Mart, for post-deployment support.
Community Support ––The Region supports the Armed Forces in Greater New York with the following community activities:
- Liaising with the local office of Veterans Affairs
- Participating in the Veterans Day Parade and Fleet Week
- Organizing deployment briefings and family days for service members and their loved ones as well as a free Psychological First Aid: Coping with Deployment course
- Organizing reintegration events for troops returning from deployments
- Supporting the troops stationed at West Point, including service members being treated at the Warrior Transition Unit
- Providing service members and their families with referrals to other organizations for specialized assistance, such as legal advice or mental-health counseling