Yongsan helps soldiers in financial emergency
Col. William Huber, the United States Army Garrison Commander, kicks off the Army Emergency Relief annual campaign with a donation to AER Mar. 19. The campaign, which runs from March 19 to April 27, helps AER provide Soldiers with prompt financial assistance. (U.S. Army Photo by Pvt. Lee Hyokang)

YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Army Community Service kicked off the annual Army Emergency Relief Campaign to move one step forward of fulfilling its motto, "Helping the Army Take Care of Its Own." The campaign started on March. 19 and will be held until April. 27.

Christopher Dunham, Community Area Project Officer, who is in charge of organizing the campaign, shared his anecdote and feelings about the program. "When I was a private, I lost my ATM card, and so I didn't have any access to any money because the bank was in the States. I went to AER to get a little loan so I can have money."

"AER is for Army and by Army. You never know when you are going to need help," Dunham continued.

The objectives of AER haven't changed much ever since it started its service. AER is a private nonprofit organization incorporated during World War II by the Secretary of War and the Army Chief of Staff. For over 60 years, AER supported numerous retired soldiers, active duty soldiers and their dependents with immediate financial assistance for those who are in emergency. AER also provides Commanders a valuable asset in helping to enhance the morale and welfare of Soldiers and their Families.

In 2010, AER assisted 67,000 people with $77 million and in the year of 2011, AER provided $77.5 million to more than 64,000 Soldiers and their families.

To keep up with previous success, AER set several goals for 2012 campaign. AER is looking forward to raise funds with the least burden to Service Members, funds to help cover financial assistance provided by AER, increase awareness of all Soldiers (active and retired) and their dependents, including spouses and orphans of deceased soldiers, about the financial assistance available from AER, and publicize procedures to obtain AER assistance.

Soldiers on post should go through the unit chain of command in order to get assistance. Dependents can request for support through nearby Army installation, but if there isn't any, other military installations such as Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard base are also available for AER help. Plus, AER has a support agreement with the American Red Cross to assist Soldiers and their families.

For further information on AER, contact Christopher Dunham, who can be reached at DSN 736-3294 or christopher.j.dunham.mil@mail.mil. The AER Website, http://www.aerhq.org/dnn563/Home.aspx, is also a good source for information.

Page last updated Tue March 20th, 2012 at 22:48