Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. 'Beags' Beagle Jr. signs his Army Emergency Relief pledge form. (Photo by Josie Carlson)
By Robert Timmons Fort Jackson Public Affairs
Fort Jackson kicks off the annual Army Emergency Relief fundraising campaign Feb. 25-26 at Century Lanes on post.
Retired Gen. John F. Campbell, chairman of AER said the campaign “has always been an important tool for commanders. In my nearly 40 years of service, I repeatedly witnessed the impact Army Leaders had on their Soldiers’ lives by sending them to their AER Office for financial assistance.
“AER provided $70 million in loans and grants to 40,000 Soldiers and Families in 2019. This incredible amount of assistance was possible due to the support of our generous donors. Since our founding in 1942, this organization has relied on the comradery and generosity that exists between our men and women in uniform.”
The AER campaign runs from March 1 to May 15 in order to bring awareness and raise funds to support our Soldiers and Families in need of emergency financial support, said Capt. David Schroeder, AER Campaign Coordinator.
AER is one of two fundraising campaigns each year that can solicit donations from Soldiers and civilians. The other campaign is the annual Combined Federal Campaign or CFC.
Along Schroeder, the AER team consists of Staff Sgt. Jared A. Clark and Sgt. Matthew A. Willis. Prior to the campaign, AER Specialists Wanda Redd and Rob Meredith trained assigned unit representatives across Fort Jackson to explain the AER program to their units and ask for donations to AER using DA Form 4908.
Schroeder explained AER Unit Reps from Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training units coordinated with the AER Team briefings with the Soldiers in Training to explain the benefits of AER.
“The minimum amount of money that can be donated is $3 and all donations are tax deductible,” he said.
The kickoff ceremony includes a bowling competition where 20 teams representing units across the installation face off for the AER Bowling Championship Trophy. Each team is comprised of four bowlers who play one game each. The team with the highest points (max score 1200) wins. The 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) won last year’s event.
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, only 80 people will be allowed inside Century Bowling Center at a time.
For more information about the AER campaign, contact your unit representative. To request AER assistance, call 751-5256.
SIDEBAR: Army Emergency Relief provides zero interest loans and grants to Soldiers and their dependents. Under Army Regulation 930-4, AER provides emergency financial assistance in the form of a non-interest bearing loan, grant, or a combination of the two. The categories of assistance include emergency travel, mortgage, rent, food, healthcare (not covered by TRICARE), vehicle costs, utility payments, funeral expenses, basic essential furniture, minor home repairs and cranial helmets.
Fort Jackson’s AER office is located in the ACS Building, 9810 Lee Road. Call 751-5256 for specific guidance on how to apply for AER assistance.
Those eligible for AER assistance are:
Soldiers on active duty and their dependents.
Members of the Reserve Components of the Army (Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve) on Title 10 orders for more than 30 days and their eligible dependents.
Soldiers retired for longevity, medical, or upon reaching age 60 (Reserve component) and their eligible dependents.
Surviving spouses who have not remarried and children of Soldiers who died on active duty or died after reaching retirement eligibility.
Spouses and/or dependents may receive financial assistance; however, they must be geographically separated and possess a Special Power of Attorney, military ID card and provide substantiating documents (i.e., car repair estimate, rental agreement, utility bill, etc.).