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A Call to the Red Cross Brings Military Families Together Amid Crisis

When a military family experiences a crisis, the American Red Cross is there to assist by providing emergency communications 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No matter where a military member and their family are stationed, they can be assured the Red Cross will deliver their notifications in times of crisis.

The Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program ensures that service members, veterans and their families have around-the-clock access to timely and reliable comfort and support. Through a worldwide network of 58 SAF stations, the Red Cross provides more than 400,000 services every year. In addition, last year nearly 1.5 million people were briefed on Red Cross services through the “Get to Know Us” program.

As our nation marks Armed Forces Week, here are two stories shared by military families on how the Red Cross was there for them in a time of need.

Dave’s Story “Many years ago, my oldest son was at a Navy school. His mother had a heart attack and was not expected to survive. I called the Navy Chaplin service to locate him and get word to him about his mother. I gave them the name of the facility he was at and was told there was no such facility and they couldn't help me.

“My next call was to the Red Cross. The lady told me ‘Don't you worry; we'll have your son in touch with you within 24 hours even if I have to get the Assistant Secretary of Defense out of bed.’ My son was home the next day.”

Karen’s Story “I was in Panama with my two children when I was told that my brother had been killed in the states. I was in the Army and the military flew us to the first U.S. stop, which happened to be Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Then I could not use military planes to get close to St. Louis, Mo. because only the service member was able to catch military hop flights within the states. I was desperate to get to my family.

“I called the Red Cross who did not hesitate to help me … That is why I do not hesitate to help the Red Cross whenever I can. They are there if you need them. Thank you, Red Cross.”

How to Contact the Red Cross for Assistance Call (877) 272-7337 (toll-free within the continental United States) if you are:

  • An Active Duty service member stationed in the United States or overseas, or a family member residing with them,
  • A family member of an active duty service member who does not reside in the service member’s household,
  • A Department of Defense Civilian assigned overseas and family members residing with them,
  • A member of the National Guard or Reserves,
  • A recruiter, MEPS military personnel,
  • A Veteran

Learn more about the Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces.