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Emergency Communications Services

American Red Cross communication services keep military personnel in touch with their families following the death or serious illness of a family member or other important events, such as the birth of a child. The Red Cross quickly sends these communications on behalf of the family to members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and isolated military units. The information or verification in a message assists the service member's commanding officer with making a decision regarding emergency leave.

How to Contact the Red Cross to Send an Emergency Message

  • Active duty service members stationed in the United States and their immediate family members may call the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service Centers for help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The toll-free telephone number is available through base or installation operators and from local Red Cross offices.
  • Other family members who do not reside in the service members' household, members of the National Guard and Reserves, retirees and civilians may access Red Cross services through their local Red Cross chapter.

When calling the Red Cross to send an emergency message to a family member, it is helpful to have the following information:

Service member’s:

  • Full Name
  • Rank/Rating
  • Branch of Service
  • Social Security Number
  • Military Address
  • Information about the deployed unit and the home base unit (for deployed service members only)

The Landings Military Family Relief Fund

In 2007 a group of Red Cross Volunteers living in The Landings formed a fundraising committee to establish an emergency financial assistance fund for active duty military, national guard reservests on active duty and their families. The Landings Military Family Relief Fund has raised over $400,000 to date and is a restricted fund facilitated by the Savannah Red Cross to support military families in need. The intent of the fund is to offer rapid assistance to military families experiencing financial difficulties. The fund supplements existing military programs like Army Emergency Relief, Army Community Services and The Chaplain's Fund. The Landings Military Family Relief Fund provides grants, not loans to the Military and their families as determined by the fund committee.

The American Red Cross offers confidential services to all military personnel — active duty, National Guard and Reserves — and their families. Counseling, guidance, information, referrals and other social services are available through our worldwide network of chapters and offices on military installations.

As more and more National Guard and Reserve units are called to full-time duty status, counseling has become increasingly important to prepare the civilian-based military members and their families for the period of activation. Because members of the National Guard and Reserve typically live in civilian neighborhoods, they and their families frequently have difficulty accessing much-needed, military-related social services.

This is a grass roots effort to allow citizens to connect directly with one of our 3rd Infantry Division soldiers (based at Ft. Stewart near Savannah, GA) while they are in Iraq. Major General Anthony Cuculo, commander of the 3rd ID, has given this program his endorsement and support.
When a flight of 3rd ID soldiers leaves Hunter Army Air Field for Iraq, the Savannah Chapter sets up an Adopt-a-Soldier table at the terminal and offers soldiers an opportunity to sign up to be adopted by a civilian while they are deployed in Iraq. They give their names and e-mail addresses.
Patriotic citizens who want to support our troops then e-mail Carol Megathlin, the creator and administrator of this program, directly to be assigned a soldier with his/her e-mail address. The sponsor e-mails the soldier, introduces him/herself, and asks for the soldier's APO mailing address in Iraq. The sponsor then sends care packages, e-mails and letters to the soldier for the duration of his/her deployment. Many friendships have already been established between soldiers and their sponsors. An occasional update is sent to all the sponsors who have given their e-mail addresses. This update features items of interest and information for sponsors and includes messages from Major General Cuculo. Those interested please contact Carol Megathlin.


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