Southeastern Connecticut Chapter

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 to the wounded during the Spanish-American War and ambulance drivers were added in World War I.  Red Cross canteens welcomed American troops during World War II, and the American Red Cross recreation clubs were established close to the front lines in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.  During the conflict in the Persian Gulf, the Red Cross provided service members and their families with financial assistance, crisis intervention, support groups, and a variety of other services.  The Red Cross has supported U.S. troops in Somalia, Rwanda, Cuba, and Haiti.  In 1996, Red Cross workers provided humanitarian support and emergency communications between service members and their families on Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia and Hungary.

Emergency Communications
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, compassionate reassignment, and dependency discharges.

Financial Assistance
The Red Cross provides financial assistance, either as an interest-free loan or as a grant, when an urgent personal crisis arises.  Financial assistance is provided to service members who have demonstrated need for funds for such things as emergency travel, burial assistance, or urgent health and welfare needs such as food and shelter.

The Red Cross offers couseling, information, referrals, and other social services to military families.  Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services workers are neutral personnel to whom military persons or family members can go for confidential problem solving.

The Red Cross provides assistance and information to veterans about the Department of Veternas Affairs.  Red Cross workers assist veterans in the preparation, development, and effort to obtain evidence to support claim for financial benefits through the Board of Veterans Appeals.  Also, through the Veterans Administration Volunteer Services, Red Cross volunteers provide a number of support services to patients in Veterans Administration hospitals.

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