FORT IRWIN, Calif. — The Fort Irwin Army Emergency Relief (AER) campaign closed out with a small ceremony held in the Fort Irwin Garrison Headquarters on June 21.
The campaign kicked off on March 1, and was extended to end in June 15.
Founded in 1942, Army Emergency Relief is “charged with relieving undue financial stress on the force, AER serves the enduring priorities of the Secretary and Chief of Staff to the U.S. Army.”
In total the Fort Irwin community raised $69,327 compared to 2020’s $69,916, while the final total is still adjusting, the installation believes it will rise to more than $70,000.
Cpt. Ian James, the AER Officer for Fort Irwin said “The importance of AER, is to ensure our soldier’s active, retired, and their family members are able to obtain assistance financially if ever found in a hardship situation.”
“It is an amazing accomplishment, for all the unit representatives, and everyone in this room working hard to making contact with everyone and getting things done,” said James. “The goal is not always how much money we raised, the goal is 100% contact with the Soldiers, and that was accomplished. We want our Soldiers to know that AER should be their first choice if they have financial need.”
Addressing those in attendance, Col. Jeanette Martin said “I want to thank each of you for all that you have done, to bring this across the line. Job well done to each of you.”
“Although the active solicitation has come to an end any one can donate year round via the AER website at armyemergencyrelief.org/donate,” said Mary Duncan, Fort Irwin’s Army Community Service Specialist. “Those interested in donating can also donate via the Exchange at checkout.”
The Army Emergency Relief program provides assistance such as providing emergency travel, mortgage, rent assistance, funeral expenses, PCS travel, emergency home repair, spouse relicensing and many more.
There are numerous ways eligible Soldiers and retirees can get in contact with AER. Soldiers can go through their chain of command which is authorized to approve immediate funds up to $2,000. Soldiers and retirees can visit their AER Officer which is located in Building 109 on Fort Irwin. Finally, Soldiers and retirees can call the American Red Cross which is authorized to provide financial assistance on behalf of AER.