Army Emergency Relief (AER)
Army Emergency Relief (AER) is a private, nonprofit organization that was created to help Soldiers and their Family members who experience financial emergencies. AER provides funds to help Soldiers with immediate financial needs with rent, utilities, emergency travel, etc. AER also provides emergency funds to Soldiers' orphans and Surviving Spouses and offers undergraduate scholarships to Spouses and Children of both active and retired Soldiers. Established in 1942, AER has assisted more than 4 million Soldiers and Family members with more than $2 billion in financial assistance, including $1 billion since 9/11. AER provided $44.8 million in loans and grants to almost 26,000 Soldiers and families in 2021.
Expanded Eligibility to Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers Activated in Support of COVID-19 Relief Efforts:
Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers that are activated in response to COVID-19 are eligible for financial assistance from Army Emergency Relief (AER) for basic living expenses such as rent, utilities, and food, and personal transportation costs such as car payments, auto insurance, and fuel. Soldiers remain eligible for the duration of their activation, plus an additional 30 days after deactivation. This enhancement to AER marks a significant change in policy for eligibility of Reserve component Soldiers. Under normal eligibility, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers must be activated under Title 10 orders for greater than 30 days. However, the new eligibility requirements allow for any Soldier activated under Title 10 or Title 32 orders (in response to COVID-19) to receive AER assistance, regardless of the length of their activation.
AER Offers Assistance for Shipping Infant Formula
The infant formula shortage in the U.S. has received widespread national attention, and AER stands ready to assist. While TRICARE will cover formulas and vitamins for infant enrollees with metabolic disorders, it will not cover regular baby formula for otherwise healthy infants. AER Officers at U.S. Army installations will assist eligible Soldiers and Families as necessary to validate shipping cost expenses.
Those eligible for formula shipping assistance are:
- Soldiers on Active Duty and their eligible Family Members;
- Soldiers Retired from Active Duty because of longevity and their eligible Family Members;
- Retired Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers receiving retired pay and their Family Members;
- Medically Retired Soldiers and their dependents, including both those placed on the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL) or Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL);
- Surviving Spouses and Children of Soldiers who died while on Active Duty (including those on Title 10 Orders) or in an eligible Retired status;
- Members of the Reserve Component of the Army (National Guard and Army Reserve under Title 10 U.S.C) on continuous Active Duty for more than thirty (30) consecutive days and their eligible Family Members.
The return home from combat can often leave servicemembers feeling out of place with the most important people in their lives - their families.
"In deployment, Soldiers grow accustomed to a new lifestyle and a new 'family' - those buddies that bond together to defend each other," said Maj. Ken Williams, 14th Military Police Brigade chaplain. "This lifestyle change is prolonged and becomes familiar, i.e., the new normal."
The families also change while the Soldier is deployed.
"The family is a system," Williams said. "When one family member is absent, the whole system changes. All members of the family adapt to a new 'normal' way of life."
When the servicemember returns, the family may feel uncomfortable with each other, and the servicemember may withdraw from the family.