GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria kicked-off its 2022 Army Emergency Relief Campaign on March 1, at the Tower View Conference Center.
This year marks the 80th anniversary for the AER program. It was founded in 1942 by Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall. Charged with relieving undue financial stress on the force, AER serves the enduring priorities of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
Since 1942, AER provided a total of $2 billion to nearly 4 million Soldiers; moreover, about $1 billion was distributed since 9/11. Through zero-interest loans, grants and educational scholarships, AER ensures that no Soldier faces financial hardship on their own.
There are two main goals for the 2022 AER campaign at USAG Bavaria. The monetary goal is to collect $60,000 in donations. The campaign goal is to ensure that 100% of the local military force is educated and informed about AER.
In 2021, USAG Bavaria raised $40,099.70 for AER. And AER provided assistance to 155 Soldiers and retirees — totaling $245,441.72.
“Growing up in the Army, there was a lot of stigma with the AER program,” said USAG Bavaria Command Sgt. Maj. Sebastian Camacho. “It’s very important to get the information down to the lowest level. AER should be the first choice.”
According to Army Emergency Relief Officer Zilpa Oseguera, the USAG Bavaria AER team in Grafenwoehr, Vilseck and Hohenfels is ready to help Soldiers and their families experiencing financial challenges as a result of unexpected life events. AER is not only a great financial resource, but it is part of the solution to help Soldiers resolve financial challenges as program officers are non-judgmental and all sessions remain confidential.
“Our goal is to help contribute to the Soldier’s readiness and resiliency,” said Oseguera. “When life throws Soldiers a curveball, they are able to face the challenges while they stand strong and focused to meet the Army requirements and military mission.”
The kick-off event provided Soldiers an opportunity to learn more about the AER program directly from garrison leadership, and it was a great success.
“Thank you, ACS, for coordinating this program,” said USAG Bavaria Garrison Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck. “With the AER program, we are helping each other.”
The easiest way for Soldiers and retired service members to donate is by allotment. This can be done to fit any budget, because allotment amounts start as low as $1 a month — 50 cents per paycheck. Furthermore, anyone can make a donation, via cash or check, by visiting www.aerhq.org/donate/donate.
To apply for a grant, locate forms or learn more information, USAG Bavaria Soldiers may contact their local AER Officers at:
Tower Barracks (Bldg. 244): DSN 526-4403 / CIV (+49) 0-9641-70-526-4403
Rose Barracks (Bldg. 322): DSN 599-1101 / CIV (+49) 0-9641-70-599-1101
Hohenfels (Camp Nainhof, Bldg. 10): DSN 522-4860 / CIV (+49) 0-9472-83-4860
Garmisch (Artillery Kaserne, Bldg. 203): DSN 440-3572 / CIV (+49) 0-8821-750-3572
For additional assistance, Soldiers should contact their unit’s AER representative. If Soldiers do not know who their unit representative is, please ask the chain of command.