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If you need to contact a military member

for emergency purposes, please call your local Red Cross chapter. Use operator

assistance if necessary, or you may also find your local Red Cross chapter

telephone number by visiting http://www.redcross.org, and entering your zip code at “Find Your Local Red Cross.” Today’s American

Red Cross http://www.redcross.org is

keeping pace with the changing military.

Featuring the latest in computer and telecommunications technology, the

American Red Cross Emergency Service Center delivers around-the-clock emergency

communication services to active duty military personnel, and to their

families. While serving 1.4

million active duty personnel, the Red Cross Get To Know Us Before You Need Us campaign

reaches out to an additional 1.5 million members of the National Guard and the

Reserves living in almost every neighborhood in America. American Red Cross Emergency

Services are available to all members of the armed services, and to their

families. Both active duty and community-based military can count on the Red

Cross to provide emergency communications, emergency financial assistance,

counseling, veterans assistance and aid in the field where Red Cross workers are

deployed to serve with America’s military.

The American Red Cross emergency

messages provide military personnel and commanders with fast, reliable

information helping them make important decisions such as emergency leave for

family matters.

If you have a family emergency, the Red

Cross will ask you for specific information about your deployed Guardsman. Your will need a copy of the Guardsman’s

order which will have the individual’s name, rank, unit, social security number

and duty location.

If you need to report the loss of a family

member, you will need to provide the following information to the Red


  • The name of the deceased
  • The name of the funeral home and the telephone


  • The attending physician’s name and telephone


If you need to report a severe illness of a

family member, you will need to provide the following information to the Red


  • The name of the


  • The name of the


  • The attending physician’s name and telephone


  • It will be helpful to the Red Cross if you inform

    medical personnel that a Red Cross representative may be contacting them and

    will identify themselves as such

If you need to report the birth of a new

family member, you will need to provide the following information to the Red


  • Name of person giving


  • Date and time of birth
  • Name of hospital/birthing


  • Attending physician and telephone


Even if you do not have all of the above information, contact the Red

Cross and they will work with you to get verified information to the military





http://www.aerhq.org/, is a

private nonprofit organization incorporated in 1942 by the Secretary of War and

the Army Chief of Staff. AER’s sole

mission is to help soldiers and their


AER is the Army’s own emergency financial assistance

organization and is dedicated to “Helping the Army Take Care of Its Own”. AER

provides commanders a valuable asset in accomplishing their basic command

responsibility for the morale and welfare of soldiers. AER funds are made available to

commanders having AER Sections to provide emergency financial assistance to

soldiers – active & retired – and their dependents when there is a valid

need. AER funds made available to

commanders are not limited and are constrained only by the requirement of valid


For these reasons, the AER assistance program is conducted

within the Army structure by major commanders and their

installation/organization commanders through AER sections and other related


Army Emergency Relief, http://www.aerhq.org/ is

available to soldiers on extended active duty and their dependents; members of

the Reserved Components of the Army (Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve)

on continuous active duty for more than 30 days and their dependents; soldiers

retired from active duty because of longevity or physical disability, or retired

upon reaching age 60 (Reserve Components) and their dependents; and

widows/widowers and orphans of soldiers who died while on active duty or after

they retired.

Eligible clients not stationed near an Army

installation or Air Force Base may apply for assistance from AER through the

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Air Force Aid Society, and Coast Guard

Mutual Assistance. If you are not

stationed near any military installations, you may apply through the American

Red Cross. If your local Red Cross

staff does not know how to process your application, contact your Unit Services

Coordinator for instruction.



The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS), http://www.afas.org/, is the

official charity of the U.S. Air Force. It promotes the Air Force mission by helping “to relieve distress of Air

Force members and their families and assisting them to finance their

education”. It is rooted in the

original Army Air Corps and the World War II Army Air Forces, whose members

wanted to “take care of

their own.” Through the years, AFAS has become increasingly effective in helping

individuals with personal emergencies– as well as extremely useful when used by

commanders to help solve personnel problems in their units.


since its creation in 1942 as a non-profit organization, has helped countless

members of the Air Force community. Strong support for AFAS programs and

objectives is reinforced each year by the substantial personal contributions

made by the active force, all of which are used solely for Emergency Assistance.

Although AFAS receives no appropriated or non-appropriated funds, close ties are

maintained between the Society and Air Force


Emergency Assistance for Air National Guard &

Air Force Reserve Personnel
Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve personnel away from

home station on extended active duty 15 days or more under Title 10 USC are

eligible for emergency assistance when the emergency is incident to, or

resulting from applicant’s active duty tour. This includes funeral expenses

incidental to the burial of a dependent spouse or child, within the limits of

the Society’s funeral grant program. AFAS will respond to genuine emergency situations and offer stabilizing

assists, but not long-standing needs caused by other factors such as previous

employment, poor home maintenance, or a serious mortgage delinquency.

Air National Guard Active Guard Reserve

(AGR) personnel serving under Title 32 USC are eligible for emergency assistance

in the categories of emergency travel due to illness (when a doctor is

requesting member’s presence) or death of an immediate family member (mother,

father, brother, sister) and funeral expenses incidental to the burial of a

dependent spouse or child, within limits of the Society’s funeral grant


Personnel on active duty for training ADT and away from home station will

be considered eligible for emergency assistance as if they were Title 32

AGR. Requests for car repairs

essential to return to home station will be considered on a case-by-case




In the National Guard, the

Adjutant General determines the need and location of the Family Assistance

Center (FAC) upon either federal or state mobilization. The Recruiting and Retention Managers

coordinate with the State Family Program Coordinator (SFPC) to establish and

execute FAC operations. In addition

to military support staff, family member volunteers and military retirees can

volunteer to support the FAC operation during a mobilization.

The FAC provides a variety of

support to families from discussion groups, to food pantries, to video

teleconferencing. During the

mobilization, your FAC is your point of contact for help with any type of

problem. A telephone call to the

FAC’s trained staff and volunteers will either help solve your problem or direct

you to the appropriate program or agency. Your FAC can provide information on and referral to essential services,

including: Financial Management Assistance; Information, Referral and Follow-up;

Identification Cards and DEERS Enrollment; Medical Care; Legal Assistance and

Social Services.

As units are mobilized

and de-mobilized, the number of FACs will change. Check with your State Family

Program Coordinator for the Family Assistance Center nearest you. Family

Assistance Centers (FAC) are in many different locations in each state. Some

states have one FAC while others may have several. Hours of operation vary. Call

to make sure the FAC is open before you make a long trip. The FAC is a focal

point to coordinate available resources, such as chaplain services, Red Cross,

Veterans Administration, and a host of other agencies with direct and indirect

interests in assisting and supporting military family. The six essential

services that a FAC provides are:

  • ID cards and DEERS


  • TRICARE Medical Health


  • Financial


  • Legal


  • Information and


  • Family Readiness


FAC and Army Community Service Centers

http://www.goacs.org are located on

most active military installations. National Guard members and their families are eligible for many services

throughout the year. During periods

of extended active duty, deployment and mobilization, members and their families

are eligible to use the full range of services. Check with your Family Readiness Center

or Army Community Service Center for a full list of programs and services for

which you may be eligible. A copy

of the FAC Active and Reserve Component Handbook can be found here: http://trol.redstone.army.mil/acslink/opready/fam_asst.pdf.


Families are the backbone of the National

Guard. We deeply believe in the

family as an integral part of the National Guard in its 365 years of

existence. This website is

dedicated to all families.

What is a

Family Readiness Group (FRG)?
The idea behind a Family Readiness Group (FRG) is that

Guard members and Guard families benefit from helping one another cope with the

rigors of Army and Air National Guard life, particularly the challenges families

deal with in everyday life while Guard members are


During the Revolutionary War, mutual help was quite

obvious. Family members functioned

as support troops by cooking, mending, nursing, and carrying the wartime

equipment in exchange for getting half-rations for each adult and

quarter-rations for each child. Family members helping one another was also evident in the frontier West,

where the families and soldiers shared the hardships of establishing and

maintaining Army communities as isolated posts in the middle of an often-hostile

environment. There is a rather

touching story of Mrs. Elizabeth (George) Custer, who, after the defeat at

Little Big Horn, went from one unit wife to another (each now a widow), offering

what comfort she could, even though she had just lost her own husband and,

because of the policies then in effect, was no longer eligible for any Army

benefits to help her restart her life.

Today an FRG is a company or battalion-level

organization of Guardsmen, civilians, and family member volunteers who provide

mutual social and emotional support, outreach services, and information to their

fellow Guard and family members, specifically those who belong to the unit, have

a significant relationship with a Guard member in the unit, or the FRG

“adopts.” In other words, there is

a spirit of inclusion that does not stop with just the spouses of Guard

members. FRGs welcome those who

have an interest in the unit (employers, retirees, parents, aunts, uncles,

grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and significant others of single

Guardsmen), need its services, and/or are willing to help the FRG meet its

goals. This collection of

individuals who belong to the FRG is the unit


The National Guard recognizes that helping families is

its moral obligation and in its best interest. Families that can cope with (and in many

instances actually enjoy) Guard life are more likely to contribute to the

community, allow their Guard members to do their jobs well, and encourage their

Guard members to remain in the Guard. The best help for families comes from peers as they learn how to handle

various aspects of Guard life. Hence, the Guard mandates that each unit commander establish and support

FRGs. To help FRGs grow and

prosper, the Guard provides training and materials. The FRG is not the only resource for

helping families. FRGs are part of

a larger Guard effort to help families adapt to the challenges of Guard


The assistance that FRGs provide is the

kind of help we all need and try to get every day:

  • Good information to help us


  • An opportunity to make


  • Help with Guard issues;


  • A chance to have some fun and talk through

    whatever may be on our minds.

Good information and friends who provide each other needed

emotional support and shared labor to meet daily tasks can and should be what

FRGs are. These are the very things

that Guard families need to cope successfully with all of the phases of Guard

life. So if you need information

about mobilization and deployment, plumbers, carpentry, automotive, childcare,

budgeting and financial planning, bookkeeping, taxes, teenagers, TRICARE, pay

issues, elder care, and many other life issues, your Family Readiness Group is a

good people and information resource.


is the FRG connected to the unit?

The FRG is a command program. FORSCOM Regulation 500-3-3, the Reserve

Component Unit Commander’s Handbook, directs unit commanders to establish a

Family Readiness Group. This


  • Appointing

    an officer or senior noncommissioned officer as the unit’s Family Assistance


  • Supporting

    preparation of a telephone tree for FRG members. In today’s electronic age,

    telephone trees are evolving into e-mail trees.

  • Conducting

    annual briefings to family members.

Upon activation and mobilization of a Guard unit, the

FRG works with the unit’s Rear Detachment and the unit’s Recruiting and

Retention Noncommissioned Officer who has the mobilization mission to operate a

Family Assistance Center.



Each state is authorized one State Family Program

Coordinator (SFPC). You can contact your state’s Family Program Coordinator at:



Each Air Wing is authorized a full-time,

dedicated Family Readiness and Support Service Coordinator to develop a Family

Readiness and Support Program along with operating and managing a Family

Assistance Center (FAC) with a Volunteer Support Team where the members, their

families and retirees can obtain family readiness and support services which are

comparable to Air Force and Air Force Reserve Centers. You can contact your Wing’s Family

Readiness and Support Service Coordinator at: