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.