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NEWS | March 16, 2022

Army Emergency Relief campaign kicks off

By Steve Elliott 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Army Emergency Relief was created to alleviate financial distress as an incident to service. AER helps Soldiers and families get back on their feet through interest-free loans, grants and scholarships when monetary needs arise, and also provides budgeting and financial counseling.

Francis Burns, Joint Base San Antonio Army Support Activity manager, kicked off the 2022 Army Emergency Relief campaign on behalf of Lt. Gen. John R. Evans Jr., U.S. Army North (Fifth Army commander, during a virtual meeting at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston March 11. The annual AER campaign runs from March 1 to May 15.

“Army Emergency Relief is an invaluable resource to take care of our People while ensuring we will always be prepared to ‘Fight to Win Our Nation’s Wars,’” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston and Gen. James C. McConville, Army Chief of Staff. “AER plays a critical role in helping members of the Army team facing financial difficulties and unexpected challenges. AER provides our Soldiers a helping hand when they need it most.”

For 80 years, AER has been the conduit through which Soldiers provide financial support to their brothers and sisters in arms. Since 1942, AER has provided more than $1.9 billion in financial assistance to Soldiers, and roughly $1 billion was provided since the 9/11 attack on the U.S.

Donations are the best way to get involved. Anyone can go to the AER website at and donate. Soldiers can contact their unit’s AER representative for more information.

AER is the official nonprofit of the U.S. Army and is a registered 501(c)(3) charity, which means donations may be tax deductible.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, AER chairman, said financial stability boosts Soldiers' resiliency.

“Army Emergency Relief has always been an important tool for commanders,” Mason said. “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 $44.8 million in loans and grants to almost 26,000 Soldiers and families in 2021. This incredible amount of assistance was possible due to the support of our generous donors,” Mason added. “Since our founding in 1942, this organization has relied on the camaraderie and generosity that exists between our men and women in uniform.”

Other options for seeking assistance are Army Community Service offices at local installations, other military aid societies, or the American Red Cross if the Soldier lives 50 miles or more away from a military installation.

AER leaders say the most frequent needs are money for car repairs, housing deposits and monthly rent, homeowner's or renter's insurance, minor home repairs and many more. Another common situation involves the death of a family member, which may necessitate extra funds for travel, rental car, hotel and food.

Educational scholarships for spouses and dependent children based on need also are available through AER.

“The goal is to inform 100 percent of Soldiers about AER programs and benefits, and offer Soldiers the opportunity to join the legacy of ‘Soldiers Helping Soldiers,’" Mason stated. "It's not the dollar amount a Soldier donates, it's more about the Soldier's awareness of AER and helping their teammates."

Mason said less than 10 percent of the Army contributes to AER for various reasons.

"AER is there for you," Mason said. "So when you're in good shape financially, I encourage you to donate … you're directly helping your battle buddies."

For more information on the AER campaign or assistance programs, contact the Installation Army Emergency Relief office at 210-221-1612.