Service to the Armed Forces

  • American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is committed to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families. Red Cross services continue to grow and develop more than a century after Clara Barton first recruited nurses to support the U.S. Army during the American Civil War. Today, the Red Cross is meeting the needs of a changing military and expanding services to veterans. Red Cross support of military members and their families enhances morale and contributes to increased operational capability in several ways.

The Red Cross provides critical services with a caring touch to men and women in all branches of the United States military, active duty personnel, reservists and members of the National Guard, and their families. Through our Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program, service men and women are eligible for three types of assistance beginning on the first day of enlistment: Emergency Services, Service to Military Families and Service to Military and Veterans Hospitals.

Linking Military Families During an Emergency

Linking Military Families During an Emergency

Red Cross workers use advanced communications technologies to link service members with their families. Our Emergency Communications Center quickly and efficiently obtains the required information and sends emergency communication messages to service members of every branch of service wherever in the world they happen to be.

You can initiate a request for Red Cross emergency assistance for members of the military currently serving on active duty by using the online self-service tool. Using a computer, smart phone or tablet, you can start a request for services and track its progress from anywhere in the world.

Information to Have Ready - When contacting the Red Cross, be prepared to provide the following information (if you do not have all of the information, please use the phone option):

Service member information

  • Full legal name
  • Rank/rating
  • Branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard)
  • Social Security number or Date of Birth
  • Military unit address
  • Information about the deployed unit and home base unit (for deployed service members only)
  • Information about the emergency
  • Name and contact for the immediate family member experiencing the emergency (could be spouse, parent, child/grandchild, or grandparent)
  • Nature of the emergency
  • Where the emergency can be verified (hospital, doctors office, funeral home)
  • For assistance call (877) 272-7337. For non-emergency questions, please contact Jessica Tischler at or call 216-426-7525.

    Connecting Families with Local Community Resources

    Connecting Families with Local Community Resources

    Building on its trusted presence in communities across the nation and on military installations around the world, the Red Cross links military families to local resources and support services.

    Our local partners include:

  • Veterans Service Commission (county specific)
  • Ohio Troop & Family Assistance Center
  • Military One Source
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Ohio Veterans Home
  • American Legion
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Team RWB
  • Honor Flight Cleveland

  • Providing Resiliency Training

    Providing Resiliency Training

    Families back home count on the Red Cross to provide training that promotes resiliency and preparedness to help them cope with the challenges of military life.

    The Red Cross offers multiple skill-building opportunities to help service members and veterans—as well as their families and support systems—identify and cope effectively with the unique challenges that arise after a deployment:

    Reconnection Workshops support and ease the transition home:

  • The Reconnection Workshops are confidential small-group modules, led by licensed mental health professionals. The workshops focus on building skills that enhance the likelihood of positive reconnections among family members, as well as the successful reengagement of the service member in civilian life, by increasing interactions and developing additional sources of support.
  • The workshops are free and available to all those impacted by a military deployment from all branches of the Armed Forces, which includes Reserve, National Guard, active duty service members, veterans and their families, including spouses, parents, siblings, children, significant others and close friends.
  • Workshops and materials focus on learning useful tools, effective coping mechanisms and where to find resources.
  • Available workshops include:

  • Communicating Clearly
  • Exploring Stress and Trauma
  • Identifying Depression
  • Relating to Children
  • Working Through Anger
  • Roger That! Communication Counts (for ages 8-12)
  • Confident Coping (for ages 12-18)
  • To register for these valuable workshops, please email your name, city, and which workshop title(s) you are interested in attending to Jessica Tischler at or call 216-426-7525.

    Supporting Wounded Warriors and Military Hospitals

    Supporting Wounded Warriors and Military Hospitals

    Red Cross volunteers serve in Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world. Volunteers, including many veterans and their families, provide vital assistance in the areas of rehabilitation, recreation, administration, and personal services to the men and women who answered their country’s call and who are now cared for each day in military hospitals and VA medical centers, including Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland.

    Click here to start your volunteer application today.

    "Get to Know Us Before You Need Us" Briefings

    "Get to Know Us Before You Need Us" Briefings

    Red Cross representatives attend Yellow Ribbon briefings for members of the National Guard, the reserves and their families to inform them about Red Cross emergency services, disaster preparedness and health and safety courses. We also conduct briefings and do family follow up for new recruits processing through the Military Entrance Processing Station.

    Our course, Coping with Deployments, is available for family members at any time. Call 216-426-7525 to schedule in-person training for your Family Readiness Group (FRG), spouses’ club or other group or click on the link to take the online version of the course.

    For additional information, contact Jessica Tischler at 216-426-7525 or