ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 7, 2014) — Army Emergency Relief has launched its annual campaign which runs from March 1 through May 15.
This year’s campaign theme is “Army Emergency Relief — A Soldiers First Choice,” Army Emergency Relief, or AER officials announced. They said the purpose of the campaign is to create a greater awareness of how AER can resolve short-term financial difficulties as well as provide an opportunity for Soldiers to help their fellow Soldiers.
“Since 9/11, almost $800 million has been distributed to Soldiers and their families in the form of interest-free loans, grants and scholarships to children and spouses of active-duty and retired Soldiers,” said AER’s director, retired Lt. Gen. Robert Foley. “In the last four years nine new categories of assistance have been added to include dependent dental care, replacement vehicles, HVAC and appliance repair, rental vehicles, relocation travel, cranial helmets and infant car seats.”
AER provides an average of $74 million in assistance to about 53,000 Soldiers and family members annually.
Based upon the job non-commissioned officers have done over the last decade leading Soldiers in combat, AER has implemented a new policy allowing sergeants and above direct access to AER assistance without going through their chain of command.
AER is placing an increased emphasis on connecting with spouses this year, according to organization officials. Recognizing that spouses make daily family financial decisions, especially when their Soldiers are deployed, tailored presentations will be made available to Family Readiness Group representatives and spouses during this year’s campaign.
Soldiers needing AER financial assistance can either contact their unit chain of command or go directly to their local installation AER office. By having reciprocal agreements in place with the other military aid societies, Soldiers and families not near an Army installation can also receive AER assistance at the nearest Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard installation with the respective Military Aid Society, or from the American Red Cross call center at 877-272-7337.
Additional program information is available at www.aerhq.org.