Army Emergency Relief is there for financial emergencies

The theme of this year's Army Emergency Relief (AER) awareness campaign is Army Emergency Relief —Making A Difference.

There are multiple ways you can make a difference as a Retiree. First, if you’re experiencing a financial emergency, get with your local AER section. Second, if you know of a fellow Retiree who needs help, make sure they know they are eligible for AER assistance. Third, if you are able, consider making a donation to carry on the tradition of "Soldiers helping Soldiers."

One of the key objectives of the annual campaign is to make sure Retirees know they are still eligible for AER assistance.

As part of the campaign, each Army Retiree receives a letter informing them of the annual campaign, as well as giving them the opportunity to contribute. We do not share the mailing list with any other organization.

In that letter we try to make it clear that Retirees are still eligible for AER assistance. However, as we find out through our website and our travels, despite our efforts to get the word out, many Retirees still don't realize that they are eligible. Please pass the word to your fellow Retirees. No one should go without assistance because of lack of knowledge.

In 2014 Retirees received more than $14.7 million in assistance from AER.

In addition to assistance, spouses and children of Retirees are eligible for AER scholarships. The application period for both scholarships runs from January through May 1. Last year AER awarded more than 3,600 scholarships, totaling $8.8 million. Click here for details about scholarships.

AER continues to change in order to be more responsive to the needs of our Soldiers and families. Last October, AER released an app for smart phones. In October 2014, more than 40% of the visits to our website originated from mobile devices, up from 27% the previous year. For those so inclined, the app is available for both iOS and Android phones.

If you are no longer near an Army installation, you can still apply for assistance at a local Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Air Force Aid Society, or Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. You can also call the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337.

AER thanks all Army Retirees for their service to the country and their past support to Army Emergency Relief.

For more information, or to find your nearest AER office, visit the AER website and "like" us out on Facebook.