American Red Cross
Service to the Armed Forces & Veterans
The American Red Cross is mandated by Congress to provide two vital services to the American people: disaster relief and emergency communication between service members and their families. The American Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces & Veterans helps community-based military members and their families cope with separation and other special needs related to service in the armed forces.
Service members and their families may access emergency communications and related casework services, including financial assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by contacting the Hero Care Center at 1-877-272-7337
The American Red Cross can help you and your families send emergency messages regarding:
- Death or serious illness of an immediate family member
- Birth of a child
- Extension of leave
- Financial Assistance
- Medical Authorizations
- Personal/family Problems
An Immediate family member is defined as:
- Includes all “step” relationships
- Person who is "in loco parentis" (someone who stood in the place of a parent for a number of years prior to joining the military and was responsible for both you financially and emotionally). This should be documented in personnel records.
To expedite the verification process, the service member or dependent should have readily available:
- Service Member's full name
- Social Security Number
- Branch of Service
- Military address
- Work and home phone numbers
- Name of the person that the emergency involves
- Relationship to the service member
- Location of the emergency (city and state)
- If hospitalized:
- Name and Phone number of hospital
- Room number
- Name of attending physician
- If the family member is deceased, the name and number of the funeral home
- Local point of contact (family member or friend at the emergency location who can provide additional information regarding the situation)
Access to the emergency financial assistance - ARC collaborates with the military aid societies in providing financial assistance when an urgent personal or family crisis arises-that is, when military member might need financial assistance for emergency travel, burial of a loved one, or urgent health and health needs such as food and shelter.
ALL RED CROSS INFORMATION IS CONFIDENTIAL. No information will be released until the Red Cross has the permission of a patient of the next of kin. The Red Cross will request a Doctor's Interpretive Statement (DIS) which includes: the diagnosis, prognosis, current condition and the doctor's recommendation of the presence of the service member or spouse. This is passed on to the command. THE COMMAND MAKES THE FINAL DECISION ON EMERGENCY LEAVE FOR THE SERVICE MEMBER OR EMERGENCY FUNDED ORDERS FOR THE SPOUSE.
Not all emergencies involve illness, injury or death. The Red Cross can also send other important message as long as they fall within our policies and procedures. One of our most common messages is a Birth Announcement.
Other services provided: The American Red Cross provides assistance in times of disaster and offers you and your family health and safety training, educational courses, “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us” briefings, and volunteer engagement. Red Cross staff can help obtain counseling, information, community referrals and other social needs. The Red Cross can represent veterans and their families seeking services to which they are entitled.
The American Red Cross is no longer able to provide communication or verification services to the Philippines. If you or your spouse has relatives in the Philippines, please consult with the command on what they will require for emergency leave.
The American Red Cross is not a government agency. We rely solely on contribution for the American people. We would welcome your support and involvement in our activities.