Army Emergency Relief campaign underway
February 28, 2013
By David Vergun
- 2013 AER Campaign Poster
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 28, 2013) -- The annual Army Emergency Relief Campaign begins March 1, and continues through May 15, with this year's campaign slogan being: "Supporting Soldiers and their families, yesterday, today and tomorrow."
The slogan, according to Army Emergency Relief, or AER, is meant to create a greater awareness among Soldiers that AER offers benefits for those who are in need.
And of course, the campaign also hopes to replenish its resources through donations. The campaign provides an opportunity for Soldiers to look out for each other, continuing the AER legacy of "helping the Army take care of its own."
Last year, AER disbursed $76.8 million in assistance to more than 59,000 Soldiers and their families. Some 38 percent of that assistance was obtained through the command referral program, which gives company commanders and first sergeants the authority to approve up to $1,500 in interest-free loans for their Soldiers.
There is no limit on the amount of assistance that can be provided and no limit on the number of times a Soldier may make requests for assistance. Loans and grants are all based on need.
AER assistance includes:
-- emergency funds for rent, food, travel, car repair, funeral, medical and dental expenses
-- children and spouse scholarships
-- grants to Soldiers medically evacuated from Afghanistan
-- support to families of fallen Soldiers
-- repair of heating and air-conditioning systems
-- travel funds for permanent change of station when advances are not forthcoming
-- repair or purchase of stoves or refrigerators
-- purchase of child car seats
-- purchase of cranial helmets when prescribed by medical authority and not authorized by TRICARE
AER is a private, non-profit organization, founded in 1942 to provide financial assistance to active duty and retired Soldiers and their families. Since AER's beginnings, some 3.5 million Soldiers and families have received more than $1.5 billion in support.
Soldiers requiring AER assistance should contact their command's AER representative or their first sergeant.
AER has offices located at major installations and commands across the United States and in Japan, Germany, Korea and eight other countries.
Soldiers and families not near an Army installation can still receive assistance from organizations in the other services which are very similar to AER: Air Force Aid Society, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.
If none of those organizations are nearby, help can be obtained by calling the American Red Cross toll-free at 877-272-7337.
More information is available at www.aerhq.org.