Service to the Armed Forces

  • Military service woman with her family

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.

The SAF program in the National Capital Region supports military personnel, veterans, and families on 14 separate military installations in the Washington, DC region, at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, and throughout the community. Key installations supported include: Quantico MCB, Walter Reed NMMC, Fort Belvoir, JB Andrews, JB Myer-Henderson Hall, JB Anacostia-Bolling, and the Pentagon. As the largest Red Cross volunteer area in the National Capital Region, there is a team of nearly1,000 active volunteers supporting the SAF mission throughout the region. Volunteers range from civilian to active duty, from administrative up to PhD and MD who practice to the full extent of their credentials and support activities across the region to include greeting every wounded, ill and injured service member who arrives via MEDEVAC. During the summer months we add a robust program of youth volunteers.

Hero Care Network

NEW! Hero Care Network

Submit Emergency Communications Requests Online or Via Mobile Device 24/7

When a military family experiences a crisis, the Red Cross is there to help. More than 110,000 military families reach out to the American Red Cross for emergency assistance each year. That’s approximately 300 military families per day. That’s why the American Red Cross has launched a new online, self-service tool called the Hero Care Network. This FREE tool gives military families more flexibility and expanded access to help during times of crisis by allowing them to quickly communicate emergency messages 24/7 via computer, tablet, or even by smartphone. Visit for more information or to submit a request!

Red Cross man delivering an emergency communication to a military service woman

Emergency Communications Services

All day, every day, the Red Cross connects service members with their families back home when an emergency strikes.

Red Cross woman talking to military service man and his family about financial assistance

Financial Assistance

The Red Cross partners with the military aid societies to help service members and their families get emergency financial assistance 24/7.

Red Cross woman telling a military service man and woman about information and referral services

Information and Referral Services

The Red Cross provides counseling, guidance, information, referrals and other social services for all military personnel and their families.

Deployment Services SAF

Deployment Services

Before, during, and after deployments, the Red Cross provides training information, and support for military members and their families.

Reconnection Workshops for all military families

Reconnection Workshops

The American Red Cross has developed the Reconnection Workshops for all military families to assist them with managing the challenges of reintegration.

holiday mail for heroes dc

Holiday Mail For Heroes

Holiday Mail for Heroes offers corporations and community entities the opportunity to provide holiday cards to give to members of the Armed Services that are wounded, ill or injured.

Connect with us at one of our six locations in the National Capital Region.


Connect with us at one of our six locations in the National Capital Region.