Monday March 19, 2012
What is it?
The Army Emergency Relief (AER) Annual Campaign is conducted from March 1st through May 15th each year in order to increase Soldier awareness of this valuable benefit as well as to give Soldiers the opportunity to help their fellow Soldiers by making a donation to AER.
AER is a private nonprofit organization incorporated in 1942 to relieve distress of Soldiers and their dependents. Today, AER provides financial assistance to Soldiers, retirees and their families in the form of interest-free loans and grants in support of a variety of needs including:
Emergency assistance for rent, food, travel, car repair, funeral, medical and dental expenses, cranial helmets and furniture.
Children and spouse scholarships
Grants to Soldiers medically evacuated from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom
Support to families of fallen Soldiers
AER assistance is available to Soldiers, retirees and their families wherever they are located. The amount of assistance is only limited by the amount of the valid need. Soldiers, retirees and their family members desiring AER assistance should contact their chain of command or local AER office. Under the AER Command Referral Program, company commanders and first sergeants have the authority to approve AER loans to their Soldiers up to $1,500. Based on reciprocal agreements, Soldiers, retirees and families not near an AER office can seek assistance from the Air Force Aid Society, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance on their respective bases or seek assistance from the national American Red Cross call center at (877) 272-7337.
What has the Army done?
In 2011, the Army and AER disbursed more than $77.5 million in total assistance to more than 64,000 active and retired Soldiers and families to meet emergency financial and educational assistance needs.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army supports AER and its annual AER Campaign through mission, installation, and garrison commanders and CSMs personally attending campaign kick-off events to increase awareness and offer Soldiers the opportunity to donate to AER. In addition to the annual campaign, AER accepts unsolicited donations from individual donors and corporations throughout the year.
Why is it important to the Army?
Soldiers, retirees and their families need to know that AER assistance is available in times of financial need. The annual campaign is a critical tool to increase awareness. Army Emergency Relief is dedicated to "Helping the Army Take Care of Its Own" and provides Army leaders a valuable asset in ensuring a ready source of financial assistance to Soldiers and their families.
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