By Mr Jason B. Cutshaw (USASMDC/ARSTRAT)July 8, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Redstone Arsenal warriors lived the motto “Helping to make Soldiers and their families Army Strong” as they once again contributed to the Army Emergency Relief fund.
The AER campaign takes place from March through May annually to help active-duty Soldiers, single or married, and their dependents; Soldiers retired from active duty and their dependents; and surviving spouses and orphans of Soldiers who died while on active duty or after they retired.
“The money that we raise and the contributions that we give go to a good cause,” said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica, commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command. “Since 1942, some 3.2 million Soldiers and their families have been helped by AER.
“Army Emergency Relief is an opportunity for Soldiers, civilians and retirees to contribute to a fund that is designed to care for Soldiers and families,” he added. “So this is the opportunity for the Army to take care of its own. This is a way to take care of Soldiers and families year-round so this is a big deal.”
This year USASMDC/ARSTRAT raised $14,634, while Redstone Arsenal raised $266,852.44 in support of the AER campaign.
“It is important to do this because you are truly taking care of Soldiers and they are what make our Army great,” said Capt. Blair Tighe, AER chairman and executive officer, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Headquarters and Headquarters Company. “AER takes care of our Soldiers and their families and helps keep up their morale up, even when difficult times may occur.
“I really enjoy doing this and I get to see the results of the program and how it helps Soldiers and their significant others have less stress and anxiety,” he added. “It is worth every minute of time spent when we take care of our Soldiers.”
The fund can be used to help with emergency financial needs or to provide education scholarships, based on financial need, to children of Soldiers.
One Soldier said he supports the AER campaign because the program helps ensure those in need get help when emergencies arise, no matter how small or large they may be.
“The bottom line is Soldiers taking care of Soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas J. Race, AER co-chairman and USASMDC/ARSTRAT HHC. “It is the right thing to do and every donation will help out a Soldier in need and his family, as well as a retiree. It is probably the best way to help out Soldiers in need and it is an Army-wide program so wherever Soldiers are, AER is there for them.”