The Red Cross salutes our men and women of the Armed Forces today and every day, and especially on May 18th – Armed Forces Day. Many nations around the world observe some kind of Armed Forces Day to honor their military forces. It is celebrated in the United States as a day to appreciate all active duty service members.
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.
Since 9/11/2001, the Red Cross has provided services to more than 1 million soldiers and their families through deployments and emergencies, including critical cases on military bases throughout the world.
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.
Here are some of the services we provide:
- The Red Cross understands how hard it is for families to let go of a loved one for an extended period of time, whether it be for the first time or the 10th time.
- We provide a course called “Coping with Deployments: Psychological First Aid for Military Families” that provides information for parents, siblings, spouses, and children on how to respond to psychological and emotional challenges faced while going through deployment. A family can take this class either in person or online.
- Call your local Red Cross to find out more information on registering or visit: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/deployment-services.html
- While returning home can be a very exciting time for both the soldier and their family, it can also be stressful as they learn to reconnect with one another, as roles and responsibilities may have been shifted and emotions are still very raw.
- The Red Cross offers free, small-group Reconnection Workshops for all family members, including teens and young children, that focus on identifying stress, trauma, and depression, as well as coping mechanisms as family members looking to reconnect.
- To sign up for a workshop, visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/deployment-services/register-reconnection-workshops.html
- The Red Cross offers financial assistance around the clock, 24 hours day, 365 days a year to active duty service members and members of an activated National Guard or reserve unit (as well as their immediate family members), and to military retirees and/or their spouses.
- Assistance can include funds for burial services and emergency travel, shelter, and food
- Call the Red Cross Hero Center at 1.877.272.7337 or submit a request online at https://www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/financial-assistance.html
HERO CARE NETWORK
- Through the Hero Care Network, you can 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 launched our 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 www.redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork for more information or to submit a request.
For more information on our Service to the Armed Forces program, click here!
And thank you to all the men and women who serve, and have served, our country! 🎖️