Service to the Armed Forces

  • Military service woman with her family
The American 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.

Emergency Communication Services

The Red Cross is available around-the-clock to relay emergency messages to service members, including the birth of a child, death or serious illness of a family member. The Red Cross verifies all family emergencies and provides fast, reliable information to military personnel, so a timely decision can be made about allowing an emergency absence. Even if the service member receives an email or phone call from home, Red Cross-verified information assists the member and his/her commanding officers with making a decision regarding emergency leave.

The Red Cross works with military aid societies from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard and Navy-Marine Corps to provide financial assistance if needed, including money for travel or burial of a loved one.

How to Contact the Red Cross for Assistance

Call (877) 272-7337 (toll-free)

When calling the Red Cross to send an emergency message to a family member, it is helpful to have the service member’s: When calling the Red Cross to send an emergency message to a family member, it is helpful to have the service member’s:

  • Full Name
  • Rank/Rating
  • Branch of Service
  • Social Security Number
  • Military Address
  • Information about the deployed unit and the home base unit (for deployed service members only)

Los Angeles Region Outreach

“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. For additional information, contact Svetlana Fusekova at (213)507-7224 or
Holiday Mail for Heroes
Send a message of gratitude and encouragement by buying or making holiday greeting cards for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Ways to participate: coordinate an L.A. Region card-signing party; participate in a sorting party to ensure cards are appropriately packaged; or deliver the cards to locations in the L.A. Region that have Active Duty Military, National Guard, Reserves and Retirees. For additional information, contact Svetlana Fusekova at (213)507-7224 or
Veterans History Project
The Veterans History Project gives veterans the opportunity to share their personal service experiences on video, which are then housed at the Library of Congress. These videographies are a road map to future generations, unedited and uncut, detailing war and service memories to be preserved forever. In addition, each vet gets his or her own webpage, a copy of the DVD for family and lapel pin.

For information about the project, contact Mike Farrar, Red Cross Long Beach Chapter, at (562) 256-4961 or
Stand Down
In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, receive letters and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment.

Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. Homeless veterans are brought together in a single location for one to three days and are provided access to the community resources needed to begin addressing their individual problems and rebuilding their lives.

For more information about Stand Down events in the Los Angeles Region, contact Svetlana Fusekova at (213)507-7224 or