LTG Richard Formica Thanks The AER Contributors
Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commander of the Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, thanks the AER contributors. At left is Command Sgt. Maj. Larry Turner of SMDC/ARSTRAT; and at right is AER manager Kathleen Riester of Army Community Service.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.--The Army’s annual fund-raising drive overcame a tragic twist of fate this year.

The deadly tornadoes April 27 occurred midway through the Army Emergency Relief campaign scheduled March 1 through May 31.

But the Redstone community pulled together and AER raised $266,852, more than $1,800 over last year’s $265,000. The total fell short of the goal for a 10 percent increase.

“Soldiers and families will benefit and we appreciate it very much,” Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commander of the Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, said during Thursday’s AER recognition ceremony at Bob Jones Auditorium.

Twenty-seven organizations held more than 120 fund-raisers during the campaign. Twenty-two were represented during the ceremony where they received certificates of appreciation for their contributions and support.

Formica, presiding officer for the event, also recognized the campaign’s three leaders: AER manager Kathleen Riester of Army Community Service; chairman Capt. Blair Tighe and co-chairman Staff Sgt. Nicholas Race.

“The money that we raised and the contributions that we give go to a good cause,” Formica said.

This year’s AER theme was “Helping to Make Soldiers and Their Families Army Strong.”

Army Emergency Relief assists Soldiers and their families in time of emergency financial need. In 2010 at Redstone, AER helped 324 Soldiers and family members with more than $337,000 in loans and grants. Armywide last year, AER helped more than 66,000 Soldiers and families with more than $77 million.

AER does the following:
 Helps with emergency financial needs for food, rent or utilities, emergency transportation and vehicle repair, funeral expenses and medical/dental expenses.
 Provides college scholarships to children, spouses and surviving spouses of Soldiers. Last year at Redstone, 40 people received a combined $60,300 in scholarships.
 Offers additional benefits including lifetime membership in the Armed Forces Services

Corporation for surviving families of Soldiers who die on active duty; grants for wounded Soldiers medically evacuated from a theater of combat; and personal financial management training for Soldiers in AIT.

Those eligible for Army Emergency Relief include: active duty Soldiers, single or married, and their family members; Army National Guard or Army Reserve Soldiers on continuous active duty for more than 30 days and their family members; Soldiers retired from active duty for longevity or physical disability, and their family members; Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers who retired at age 60, and their family members; and surviving spouses and orphans of Soldiers who died while on active duty or after they retired.

Page last updated Wed July 6th, 2011 at 00:00