ANSBACH, Germany -- Think nonprofit organization, think Army Emergency Relief, to actively help a fellow Soldier or neighbor who is suffering from a financial emergency.

This year's AER Campaign embraces 67 year of Soldiers helping Soldiers and their families, according to Sarah Amos, Yellow Ribbon Room Coordinator at Katterbach.

Amos, who handles the promotional part for the AER campaign within the garrison said that this year's' AER Campaign runs March 12 through May 15.

Last year, Amos said, "Because Soldiers, retirees, as well as civilians from U.S. military communities worldwide, contributed graciously in the past, we were able to provide much needed financial support to some 78 Soldiers and their families ... within the garrison."

Amos pointed out that those funds made available by AER covered mainly the cost for car repairs and emergency travel to stateside locations.

However, AER is there to fund anything from dire, fundamental personal needs like food, rental and medical expenses to more mundane expenses, like undergraduate-level education scholarships for children of Soldiers and spouses, she added.

"Soldiers who want to contribute to the AER program either by cash, check or monthly allotment should contact their unit AER representative. Anyone else who would like to support this beneficial program should contact the AER officer at your Army Community Service," said Amos.

Col. Christopher M. Hickey, commander of USAG Ansbach, certainly believes in AER.

"Army Emergency Relief is an important program and a great way for people to help out their fellow community members," he said. "When people support AER, they are ensuring that our community members will have somewhere to turn to when they experience hard times. And you never know, you may need to benefit from the Army Emergency Relief Program yourself some time."

Getting financial support is relatively easy.

The first step for financial assistance is to contact a Soldier's chain of command. The first sergeant or company commander is authorized to approve AER loans of up to $1,000. The next step would be for a Soldier or spouse to contact the local AER representative, or in case there is none the local American Red Cross representative.

To apply for financial assistance, a Soldier needs to show:
*A valid Identification Card
*The most recent Leave and Earning Statement
*Leave/PCS orders (depending on the type of financial support)
*Substantiating documents (i.e. rental agreement, medical bill, etc.)

In the absence of or deployment of a sponsor, a spouse will also need a valid power of attorney to apply for the financial emergency assistance.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16