American Red Cross Overseas Association


The Service to Armed Forces Our Legacy continues was started in 2009 by National headquarters.  It is a national recognition for the men and women who served overseas with the U.S. military during wars, combat and operations including WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the operations in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq to name a few.

Jerry DeFrancisco, the President of Humanitarian Services, new to the position with Red Cross, wanted to recognize those that had never been recognized before.  He was more than impressed when he learned what Red Cross workers had done overseas in support of the military and that Red Crossers had also given their lives in the line of duty.  Kay Walton and Debby MacSwain, both American Red Cross Overseas Association (ARCOA) members, were asked to be co-chairs in developing the program and they spent about a year working with a Legacy Committee and various national Red Cross departments before initiating the SAF Legacy recognition.  The first two Legacy recognitions were given at the 2010 ARCOA Fall Memorial held at National Headquarters in Washington DC and later at the ARCOA Convention held in Denver.

Another ARCOA member, WWII Red Crosser Barbara Pathe, spent 40 years as a volunteer to enter all the information held on each person that deployed from WWI through Desert Storm on the 3x5 Human Resource cards.  In software she developed, there are thousands of names.  Her database became the National Red Cross Archive Data base and is used in verifying a person’s eligibility.  We have given the recognition to almost 1000 people including families who had loved ones serving overseas but are no longer living.  It can be given at an ARCOA event, chapters, and or mailed to the individual.

Information for those requesting the Service to Armed Forces Our Legacy Continues recognition.

1.     Complete the form and send to the email address at top of form.  It is a very simple form and applicant does not have to answer questions.  The needed info is the name (maiden and married), Point of Contact information, and when and where served.  Once the Red Cross volunteer receives the application the information, it will be checked with the Red Cross ARCHIVE database.

2.     NHQ Service to Armed Forces department will send the Legacy recognition to the place requested.  Please indicate if you would like it presented at an upcoming ARCOA event, by a local Red Cross chapter (this takes time to coordinate) or by mail.  If the applicant wants it sent elsewhere, please note.

3.     Feel free to contact Debby MacSwain at if you have questions.  She would appreciate knowing if you are sending in your request. 

American Red Cross Overseas Association (ARCOA) is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.
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