Army Emergency Relief Campaign Kickoff event took place March. 12, at the Yongsan Army Community Service building. Garrison Commander Col. J. Scott Peterson attended the event to emphasize the importance of AER in providing continuous assistance to Soldiers and their families.
AER is a private nonprofit organization incorporated in 1942 by the Secretary of War and the Army Chief of Staff. AER's mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to those who serve. Since 1942, AER has provided more than $ 1.8 billion to 3.7 million Soldiers and their families. On average, $61 million is provided to over 40,000 Soldiers each year.
All Active Duty Soldiers and Retirees are eligible for AER assistance. Those seeking support can easily find the closest Army installation AER office or can find the closest Air Force Base, Navy/Marine Corps Base, and Coast Guard Base. Individuals that are not within a 50 mile radius of a military installation can call the American Red Cross 24 hour Military Assistance through (877) 272-7337. In addition, there is the Company Commander and First Sergeant Quick Assist Program where the company commander and first sergeant can approve direct AER loans up to $2,000.
Once Soldiers request for AER assistance, AER evaluates the Soldier's financial status. Then AER provides either an interest free loan, a grant if repayment of loan will cause undue hardship, or part loan and part grant.
The AER Kickoff event closed its curtain with a cake-cutting ceremony, wishing to give a hand to those who serve.