American Red Cross1235 S Tacoma Way
Tacoma, Washington 98409 (877) 272-7337
American Red Cross
24/7 toll free nationwide
To send a Red Cross message
Send a message when there is a:
- Death or serious illness of immediate family*
- Birth announcement
- After our financial need
*”Immediate family” includes the service members in the immediate family of their spouses.
Parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse, child, last living relative, in person standing in place of parent
Exceptions may be made for fiancée, domestic partner or girlfriend/boyfriend who can provide the same degree of information about the service member as a spouse. Person standing in place of parents should be documented with an S-1 prior to the event.
Information you will need to provide to the caseworker:
The service members full name, date of birth, Social Security number, branch, rank, unit and deployed address.
Verification source. For example: the name and phone number of the doctor, funeral home director, or social worker. Red Cross messages must be verified in order to be sent. An exception may be made in the service member is unaware of the emergency and there are no means of communication available for the family to reach the service member.
Please note, the patient or medical power of attorney will need to give the doctor permission to release medical records to the Red Cross prior to verification.
Important information to know
- Anyone can initiate a Red Cross message on behalf of the service member’s family, including the service member, Doctor or friend.
- Once the caseworker is given the required information listed above, they will verify the event with the verification source.
- If the verified emergency warrants an emergency message, the message November composed and delivered to the command.
- Command will make the service member aware of the event. The service member may choose to ask for emergency leave.
- Red Cross messages provide connection with timely, accurate facts to consider and there’s not guarantee emergency leave. Emergency leave is granted at the sole discretion of the command and counts against their regular leave.
- Due to difficulties with verification in foreign lands, Red Cross messages are rarely sent for emergencies affecting family outside United States and its territories or the handful of cooperating nations. The caseworker at 877-272-7337 can inform you of the cooperating nations during the time of your emergency.