Service to the Armed Forces

  • Service to the Armed Forces

Members of the Armed Forces and their families encounter stress not always experienced in civilian life - lengthy separations from family, lack of familiar support resources and ineligibility for local benefits.

The U.S. Congress mandates that the American Red Cross provide social welfare services to our service members and their family members. We work to accomplish this mission, easing stress unique to the families of service members and serving the entire community in several ways.

Services to Veterans

The American Red Cross provides assistance and information to veterans about the Department of Veterans Affairs. Red Cross workers assist veterans in the preparation, development and effort to obtain evidence to support a claim for financial benefits through the Board of Veterans Appeals.

Also, through the Veterans Administration Volunteer Services, Red Cross volunteers ranging in age from teenagers to retirees, provide a number of support services to patients in VA medical centers. Services provided by Red Cross volunteers may include physical rehabilitation, social work, general ward help and information, library work, nursing and administration.

Visit the Long Beach VA Hospital website for additional information regarding services for veterans.

Information and Referral Services

The Red Cross maintains a listing of community resources and provides information and referral services to those individuals who do not meet Red Cross criteria for direct assistance. Referrals are provided for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, rental/utilities assistance.

Emergency Communications

Red Cross emergency communication services keep military personnel in touch with their families following the death or serious illness of an immediate family member, the birth of a service member's child or grandchild or when a family faces other emergencies.

Where ever their military service takes them, he or she knows that the Red Cross will deliver notification in times of an emergency at home. Even if the service member receives an e-mail or phone call from home, Red Cross-verified information assists commanding officers with making a decision regarding emergency leave. Without this verification, the service member may not be able to come home during a family crisis.

Emergency Financial Assistance

The Red Cross also provides access to emergency financial assistance for members of the military, their dependents and military retirees in the form of interest-free loans. The funds are made available through the military aid societies and may be used for emergency food, shelter, clothing, transportation, burial assistance and child care.

Counseling Services

The Red Cross offers limited counseling for members of the military and their families. The stress which may accompany long periods of separation and deployment is common among military families. The Red Cross has trained professionals available to help them to cope during these difficult times.

How to Contact the Red Cross for Assistance

Call (877) 272-7337 (toll-free) if you are an Active duty service member stationed in the United States, or a family member residing with them.

Pre-deployment Presentations

The American Red Cross wants members of the National Guard, Reserves and other community-based military personnel to Get to Know Us Before You Need Us. All too often, members of the Reserves and National Guard don't know about available Red Cross services until they are mobilized.

Knowing in advance that communication links, access to financial assistance and counseling will be available in an emergency brings peace of mind to the military and to the families from which they are separated. Similarly, knowing that Red Cross services are available to inactive service members and their family members provides a safety net in times of need. Presentations are free!!

For more information contact Chris Campbell-Jay at (562) 595-6341 or