Fort Eustis kicks off 2009 AER Campaign
March 26, 2009
- Event attended by unit and activity AER representatives
- Bowes emphasized need for all Soldiers to be educated about the program and encouraged to give
- Layer said he hoped to see Eustis exceed the post's $65,000 goal again this year
FORT EUSTIS, Va. (March 26, 2009) -- "I will never leave a fallen comrade."
"No Soldier Stands Alone"
Strength and dedication - the U.S. Army counts on Soldiers' dedication and commitment to taking care of each other and is asking Soldiers to put this conviction into action with this year's Army Emergency Relief fundraising campaign theme, "Adding Strength to Army Strong," unveiled during the AER fundraising campaign kick off March 18 in Wylie Theater at Fort Eustis.
The annual event was attended by unit and activity AER representatives, Fort Eustis Commander Brig. Gen. Brian R. Layer and Fort Eustis Garrison Commander Col. Andy Bowes.
In a statement Bowes made to the attendees, he emphasized the need for all Soldiers to be educated about the program and encouraged to give. He also discussed the role unit leaders can play in helping the post achieve this year's $65,000 goal.
"Leadership being involved is critical to getting the word out to Soldiers," he said.
Last year, although donations from installation Soldiers and civilians exceeded the post goal of $65,000 with a total of more than $100,000 in donations, the need for assistance exceeded the amount collected. The post AER office distributed more than $1.2 million to 443 Soldiers and family members; Army-wide, AER provided more than $83 million in assistance to more than 70,000 Soldiers and their families.
In a brief speech, Layer said he hoped to see Eustis exceed the post's $65,000 goal again this year and talked about the current economic crisis and the need for assistance within the Army's ranks, now more than at any other time.
"This is us taking care of our own family. My expectation is that this year we will have more need than we've had in the past," Layer said.
AER assistance is available to active-duty Soldiers and their families through the AER Command Referral program in which company commanders and first sergeants have the authority to approve up to $1,000 in interest free loans for their Soldiers.
Financial assistance is also available to Reserve and Guard members on continuous active duty for more than 30 days and their eligible family members and to retirees through the AER Retired Soldier outreach program.
Established in 1942, AER provides financial assistance during emergencies to active-duty, Reserve and Guard Soldiers and their families and retirees. Assistance is determined on need and consists of no-interest loans or grants.
For more information about the program, visit the AER Web site at www.aerhq.org.
For assistance, contact your unit commander or first sergeant or the Eustis AER office at 878-0945 or Army Community Services at 878-3638.
The AER office is located at the Army Community Service Center, Bldg. 601, Hines Circle and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For assistance when away from an Army installation, contact the nearest military installation or call the American Red Cross toll-free number at 877-272-7337.