Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson, Fort Jackson commander, will kick off the installation's 2018 Army Emergency Relief annual campaign during a ceremony at 4 p.m., Feb. 23 at the NCO Club.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Tracey Anbiya visiting Fort Jackson from AER Headquarters will be the guest speaker.

Now in its 76th year, the campaign's purpose is to bring AER mission awareness to the community and raise funds in order to provide emergency assistance to Soldiers and their families in their time of need. Training for AER Unit Representatives is at 9 a.m., Feb. 21 at the Army Community Service Building at 9810 Lee Road.

The goal of the campaign is "100 percent Soldier contact," to ensure every Soldier is aware of the AER program and has an opportunity to help a fellow Soldiers by making a contribution.

There's no limit on how much a Soldier request from AER, if the emergency is valid and the Soldier is deemed eligible. AER financial assistance may be provided in the form of a no-interest loan, a grant, or a combination of both. Soldiers in need of financial help are encouraged to seek out AER assistance. AER helps Soldiers avoid financial hardship and the many finance companies, title loan and cash-advance establishments that take prey on service members with high interest rate loans. Last year, Fort Jackson Soldiers donated $212,685 to the Fort Jackson campaign and provided over $935,000 in zero interest loans and grants.

Both active and retired Soldiers can apply for AER assistance. Applications may be submitted through unit commanders and/or first sergeants or directly to the local Financial Readiness Program, AER staff. Call 751-5256 for more information or visit the Financial Readiness Program Staff at the Army Community Service Bldg. 9810 Lee Rd, Rm. 108.

Soldiers or Family members may apply for assistance at any Army installation or the nearest military base (Air Force Aid Society, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance). If there's no military installation within 50 miles, or if emergency relief is needed after business hours, during weekends or on federal holidays, contact the American Red Cross at 877-272-7337.

For additional information on the AER Campaign, contact Maj. Matthew R. Hintz or Staff Sgt. Julian Quevedo at 751-5256.

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Sidebar:

AER is authorized to provide emergency assistance for the following categories:

 Food
 Utilities
 Rent/mortgage
 Essential POV
 Emergency/essential travel
 Funeral expenses
 Medical/dental expenses
 Personal needs when pay is delayed or stolen
 Needs caused by fire or other disaster
 Travel funds for relocation
 HVAC repair (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
 Purchase/repair of refrigerator or stove
 Child car seats
 Cranial helmets