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 3.7 million Soldiers and Family members with more than $1.9 billion in support. In 2017, AER processed over 43,000 cases, providing $69.7 million in no-interest loans and grants and awarded more than $8 million in scholarships to Spouses and Children of Soldiers.
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.