Military Services

Keeping in Touch With Our Armed Forces

Award-winning service

TFreedom Salute Award presented to the
American Red Cross Genesee-Lapeer Chapter
by the Flint National Guard

For military services, call 877-272-7337

Armed Forces Emergency Services (AFES) assists the military during peace and wartime by delivering messages between family members in the United States and military personnel stationed at faraway bases.

Every day, Red Cross AFES carries the sad news of a death or the joyful news of a birth to service men and women worldwide, and we often arrange emergency travel, enabling military families to be together. The long separations and stressful situations that occur when a service member is stationed abroad often places a serious emotional strain on families.

Military families that need assistance are encouraged to call the American Red Cross at 877-272-7337. The Red Cross can assist in providing: emergency communication; health and welfare inquiries; information, referral and advocacy; humanitarian reassignment and hardship discharge; veterans services; and emergency financial assistance.

Our local Red Cross chapter also provides cards consisting of important contact information for servicepersons to fill out and give to their family members. This makes locating the serviceperson easier.

When you call the Red Cross, 877-272-7337, try to have the following information available:

Service person’s rank, social security number, birth date, military address and service phone number.

Emergency Communication

In the event of an emergency, critical accident, illness, or death in a service member’s immediate family, the Red Cross should be called at once.  The Red Cross is equipped to verify the situation and relay an emergency leave request, if necessary, to proper military authorities.  It is then up to the commanding officer to decide whether or not to grant leave.

Health and Welfare Inquiries

Regular communication between service members and their families is ordinarily no problem, but sometimes a long time with no word can become worrisome.  The Red Cross can help.

Through our worldwide communications network, we can communicate with the installation or ship where the service person is stationed.  You’ll get a report on his or her welfare to give you peace of mind.  Also, service members can request the same service related to families back home.

Information, Referral, and Advocacy

A variety of health and supportive services are available from military and other sources, but how do you know where to turn?  The Red Cross is available to help you understand government benefits, cut through red tape, and get the help you need.

Humanitarian Reassignment and Hardship Discharge

If a hardship exists within your immediate family that cannot be resolved by an emergency leave, the Red Cross can counsel the family or service member on how to request either a humanitarian reassignment closer to home or a hardship discharge.  We’ll help you understand the procedures and documentation needed.  Final decisions on these applications are made by military authorities.

Veterans Services

American Red Cross staff at the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C. represent veterans and their families who seek compensation awards from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).  This process begins at the DVA, where a claim is submitted for adjudication.

The Red Cross provides volunteers to serve hospitalized veterans at DVA medical centers.  These services are provided in accordance with an agreement between the American Red Cross and the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Services (VAVS).

Emergency Financial Assistance

When an emergency arises that requires the presence of the service member or his or her family, the Red Cross may provide access to an interest-free loan or a grant for travel expenses.  These funds are made available by the military aid societies.  They may be authorized for other emergencies as well and are disbursed on the basis of need.  Referrals to specialized sources of help are also available to service members and their families.

These Red Cross services and more are available to service members and their families 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  

Call 877-272-7337 for assistance.

Read about the role of the American Red Cross in times of war, More ..

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