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March 22, 2013

News

Army Emergency Relief Campaign under way, continues until May 15

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Army Emergency Relief) — Headquarters, Army Emergency Relief (AER) announced the annual AER Campaign has begun and will continue through May 15. The theme is “Supporting Soldiers and their Families — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

For the last 71 years, the campaign objectives have remained the same: To create greater awareness of AER benefits and to give Soldiers the opportunity to help their fellow Soldiers.

“The annual campaign allows commanders the opportunity to reinforce a greater awareness of how Army Emergency Relief helps Soldiers and their Families,” said AER’s director, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Foley. “By promoting a better understanding of AER benefits as well as an appreciation for the flexibility which AER officers possess in responding to requests for financial assistance, Soldiers and Families can be provided the help they need.”

Dianne Sommers, Fort McCoy AER campaign point of contact, said the Fort McCoy AER campaign has the same dates as the Armywide AER Campaign.

All military organizations at the installation have been asked to provide a project officer to provide more information to military personnel and to coordinate donations.

The Army Community Service (ACS) Center also is partnering with the Rumpel Fitness Center to highlight the AER Campaign during the Wellness Fair 5K run/walk event set for May 8. The T-shirt for the event will have an AER theme in its design.

More information about AER and the installation AER Campaign also will be available at the ACS booth at the Wellness Fair, Sommers said.

AER was established during World War II to ensure an agency exists within the structure of the Army to provide prompt financial assistance for Soldiers and their Families. AER continues to provide no-interest loans and grants as well as scholarships to children and spouses of active-duty and retired Soldiers.

In 2012 AER provided $76.8 million in assistance to more than 59,000 Soldiers and their Families. More than 38 percent of that assistance was provided under the streamlined Command Referral Program, where company commanders and first sergeants have the authority to approve up to $1,500 in interest-free loans for their Soldiers.

The motto of the AER officers is, “Find a way to say ‘Yes.’” There is no limit on the amount of assistance that can be provided and no limit on the number of times a Soldier may make requests for assistance. It is all based on need.

Soldiers requiring AER assistance should contact their unit chain of command or go to their local installation AER office. Due to reciprocal agreements with the other military aid societies, Soldiers and Families not located near an Army installation can get AER assistance at an Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard base from the Air Force Aid Society, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance respectively or from the American Red Cross call center at 877-272-7337.

For more information about AER in the Fort McCoy community, call 608-388-6712.

Additional AER program information is available at the website www.aerhq.org.

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