By Sgt. Jung Jihoon (IMCOM)March 10, 2014
The kickoff ceremony for the 2-14 Army Emergency Relief campaign was held at
the Army Community Services building on U.S. Army Garriosn Yongsan, March 4.
AER was founded in 1942 by the Secretary of War and the Army Chief of Staff
to help soldiers and their dependents deal with financial crisis. AER was
incorporated as a private nonprofit organization under the laws of District
of Columbia for the purpose of collecting and holding funds to relieve
distress of members of the Army and their dependents.
Col. Michael. E. Masley, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, made
remarks, thanking community members and asking for active support of the AER
"First, I thank all the people coordinating this 2014 area II AER campaign,
and to those who will open their hearts and help someone in need," Masley
said. "Life is unpredictable, and bad things happen to good people. In the
spirit of paying it forward, I ask each of you to consider this.What if it
was you?. Please provide help for AER."
AER's main functions are assisting with emergency financial needs for
various daily necessities through an interest free loan or grant. The
program also offers college scholarships for Army children and spouses.
Sgt. Christopher Garrard, who works at the 505 MI brigade, received an award
for raising $1,065 before the fund raising campaign even began this year. He
said he is motivated to spread the word about AER because it personally
effected his life.
"I told as many people as possible in my unit (about AER)," Garrard said. "I
did so because AER is something close to me. In 2008 I was not paid for
almost 5 months, so AER kicked in and helped me pay my rent and car fees. I
felt in my heart that someone who I do not know came in to help me. It was a
matter of brotherhood, and it moved me a lot."
Now, he continues that helping-hand legacy by volunteering to raise money
for the program each year.
"AER is a solider-to-soldier service. So, I want to encourage everyone out
there to participate in AER and its fund raising," Garrard said.
To make that possible, AER needs financial support which is delivered
through the annual fundraising campaign, from March 15 through May 1.
Community members are encouraged to inform fellow soldiers, family members
and retirees about AER and the opportunity to contribute to making the
community a better place.
An active duty service member, spouse and dependents are able to get help
from AER by preparing correct documents and ID card.
For more information, call the Yongsan Financial Radiness Officer at DSN