Army Emergency Relief announced the 2015 campaign theme, Army Emergency Relief – Making a Difference. The campaign runs from March 1st through May 15th with the goal of creating greater awareness of the benefits of AER as well as providing Soldiers the opportunity to donate to their fellow Soldiers.
“Since 1942 AER has partnered with Soldiers and their Families to help them through times of crisis. Today you and I can help those who will face some of the most challenging times of their lives during this next year,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin.
“Making a difference is a great theme at many levels for this year’s campaign,” said AER’s Director, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Foley. “For leaders it provides incentive for creating an environment that encourages Soldiers to embrace AER when faced with an unexpected financial emergency. For Soldiers it provides reinforcement that AER will always be there when needed for financial assistance.”
Army Emergency Relief is a private non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to Soldiers, active and retired, and their Families. Since it was founded in 1942, AER has provided more than $1.7 billion to more than 3.6 million Soldiers, Families and Retirees.
WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin, WSMR Command Sergeant Major Sgt. Maj. Jimmy J. Sellers, Garrison Commander Col. Brian M. Michelson, and Andrew Lucht, AER Program Coordinator, were present at Building 100 March 6 to help kick off this year’s campaign.
“The AER campaign is important because it has a positive and immediate impact on the lives of our Soldiers who may experience financial challenges. As Soldiers we take care of other Soldiers and their Family Members. Depending upon the emergency, AER provides a clear avenue that Soldiers can approach when they are at a financial crossroad,” said WSMR Command Sergeant Major Sgt. Maj. Jimmy J. Sellers.
“Since its inception in 1945 AER has given commanders a tool to help Soldiers in need,” said Garrison Commander Col. Brian M. Michelson.
Last year AER provided nearly $74 million dollars in assistance to more than 51,000 Soldiers and Families which includes $8.8 million for 3,500 scholarships to Spouses and Children of Soldiers.
Soldiers needing AER assistance can either contact their unit Chain of Command or go directly to one of the 78 AER sections at their nearest Army installation. Additionally, AER has 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.