Fort McCoy News February 28, 2014

AER to kick off 2014 campaign March 1

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Headquarters, Army Emergency Relief (AER) announced the 2014 campaign theme, Army Emergency Relief — A Soldiers First Choice for the annual AER Campaign, which runs from March 1 through May 15.

Logo of AER

The purpose of the campaign is to create a greater awareness of the benefits selecting AER to resolve short-term financial difficulties as well as to provide the opportunity for Soldiers to help their fellow Soldiers.

"Since 9/11, almost $800 million has been distributed to Soldiers and their Families in the form of interest-free loans, grants and scholarships to children and spouses of active-duty and retired Soldiers," said AER's director, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Foley.

"In the last four years, nine new categories of assistance have been added, to include dependent dental care, replacement vehicles, HVAC and appliance repair, rental vehicles, relocation travel, cranial helmets and infant car seats."

Based upon the great job noncommissioned officers have done over the last decade leading our Soldiers in combat, AER has implemented a new policy allowing sergeants and above direct access to AER assistance without going through their chain of command.

AER is placing increased emphasis on connecting with spouses this year.

Recognizing that spouses make daily Family financial decisions, especially when their Soldiers are deployed, tailored presentations will be made available to Family Readiness Group representatives and spouses during this year's campaign.

Soldiers needing AER financial assistance can either contact their unit chain of command or go directly to their local installation AER office. At Fort McCoy, visit Army Community Service, 2111 South 8th Ave., or call 608-388-3540/3505.

By having reciprocal agreements in place with the other military aid societies, Soldiers and Families not near an Army installation also can receive AER assistance at the nearest Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard installation with the respective

Military Aid Society, or from the American Red Cross call center at 877-272-7337.

Additional program information is available at www.aerhq.org.