FORT STEWART, Ga. - The first day of March kicked off the annual fundraising campaign. Two and half months later, the fundraising campaign came to a close, May 15 with Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield surpassing its goal of $200,000.

The Army Emergency Relief program's mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to Soldiers and their Families.

"During the time the furlough was being considered," Frederick Sledge, AER officer, said. "AER was devising a plan to assure our Soldiers, retirees, Family Members, widows and orphans would be taken care of."

The AER program assists Soldiers, Families, retirees, widows and orphans in a number of ways:
Aca,!Ac Food, rent or utilities
Aca,!Ac Emergency transportation and vehicle repair
Aca,!Ac Funeral expenses
Aca,!Ac Medical/dental expenses
Aca,!Ac College scholarships to children, spouses and surviving spouses of Soldiers

As of May 16, the Stewart-Hunter community raised $217,502.59, with over $60,000 of contributions from retirees.

"I'd like to send a big "thank you" to retirees," Randy Knox, AER assistant officer, said. "Our retirees have contributed $64,385.92. They always put us over the hill."

Although the fundraising campaign came to a close, the AER program will still accept contributions throughout the year.

If you would like more information regarding the AER program and the services it offers, contact the AER office and request the 2011 pocket guide. The information it offers provides insight to the different avenues of assistance.

"Army Emergency Relief program is definitely about Soldiers helping Soldiers," Sledge said.

Contributions are not limited to men and women in uniform. Civilians and Family Members are welcome to contribute to a worthwhile cause as well.

For more information, call 912-767-5065 or 912-767-3443. Don't forget to visit the AER web site at