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American Red Cross
Armed Forces Emergency Services
Armed Forces Emergency Services
In 1905, the U.S. Congress granted a charter to the American Red Cross that required the organization to act "in accord with the military authorities as a medium of communication between the people of the United States and their armed forces..." Since that charter was granted, the Red Cross has provided not only communications but a variety of basic humanitarian services to help members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families around the world. Red Cross nurses provided aid as far back as the Civil War and Spanish-American War with ambulance drivers being added during World War I. Red Cross canteens welcomed American troops during World War II and American Red Cross recreation clubs were established close to the front lines in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The Red Cross has supported U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf War, Somalia, Rwanda, Cuba, Haiti and anywhere else our service men and women are deployed.
The Red Cross keeps military personnel in touch with their families following the death or serious illness of a family member or the birth of a child or in response to other family emergencies. Red Cross emergency messages provide military personnel and their commanders with fast, reliable information to help them make decisions regarding emergency leave, deferment and compassionate reassignment.

The Red Cross sends an emergency communication every 22 seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Red Cross also offers other services to members of our armed forces. Financial assistance, counseling, referrals and veteran affairs are all a part of Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services.