USAG Yongsan-Casey: AER slow-start no problem amid COVID-19

By Denver Beaulieu-Hains (Director)July 28, 2020

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

By the end of June, USAG Yongsan-Casey had already raised nearly $30,000 for the Army Emergency Relief (AER) Program despite a two-month delay in fundraising activity due to community response to COVID-19.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service campaign that has patrons donating dollars at the check-out has really stacked up, adding an additional $216,000 at all AAFES Installations worldwide year to date.

“The Army Emergency Relief Program is about Soldiers helping Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Major Donald R. Robertson. “These are stressful times and sometime Soldiers need a helping hand. The program exists to help when there are unexpected challenges, such as, emergency travel, temporary lodging, utilities and unexpected car repairs.”

There’s a long list of things that can go wrong and the program is always available to help, he said. “We take care of our own.”

When COVID-19 response happened, USAG Yongsan-Casey service members were manning gates, conducting critical medical health screenings, and temperature checks – all functions needed to ensure the virus remained outside the gates. As the community was preoccupied with mission-critical response, the campaign coordinators, Sgt. 1st Class Marshall Cote, Capt. Aaron McDaniel, Staff Sgt. Allan Roara Reyes and Staff Sgt. Alexis Tejedor, had less time to collect critical donations.

“Our Soldiers range from 18-years-old to 24,” said Tejedor. “Because this is their first duty-station, I had to teach them about AER before they could donate. Collecting donations during a real-world pandemic makes you want to give.”

“It brings it home we all might need a little help one day,” he said.

The extended campaign runs through 31 July. To donate online go to