AER campaign kicks off

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The Army Emergency Relief fundraising campaign has kicked-off at Fort Irwin and will go through May 15.

The Army-wide campaign takes place annually and aims to garner contributions for the program that helps Soldiers and their families with financial challenges. This year’s theme is “Never Leave a Soldier in Need.”

According to an AER news release, AER has made significant changes to meet the needs of today’s Army, adding new categories of assistance, expediting the assistance process and increasing grants by 30 percent.

Last September, AER made a policy change allowing all Soldiers, regardless of rank, direct access to AER assistance.

“’Never Leaving a Soldier in Need’ is in keeping with the Army’s core values,” said AER’s director, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Foley. “Whether the need is money for a Soldier’s emergency leave, new brakes for the family car or to cover the initial rent deposit on a new apartment, AER is there! To maintain this level of assistance today, donations from Soldiers, active and retired, are essential to ensure the legacy of Soldiers helping Soldiers.”

Army Emergency Relief is a private non-profit organization and since it was founded in 1942, it has provided more than $1.7 billion to more than 3.6 million Soldiers and Families. Last year AER provided more than $71 million in assistance to nearly 47,000 Soldiers and Families, which includes $9 million for 4,102 scholarships to military spouses and children.

Soldiers needing AER assistance can contact their unit chain of command or call the Fort Irwin AER office at 380-3513. Additional information is available at www.aerhq.org.