Army Emergency Relief kicks off with breakfast Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 March 2013
Col. Bjarne Iverson, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, chief of staff, and Col. William Pfeffer, garrison commander, make personal donations to the Army Emergency Relief Campaign at a “Kickoff Breakfast” held Monday at the Pershing Community Club. To donate contact your unit representative.
Story and photo by Dawn Arden
Assistant editor
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The Fort Leonard Wood community Army Emergency Relief Campaign kicked off its annual fundraising season with a breakfast at the Pershing Community Club Monday.

“This is about the Army. This is not Combined Federal Campaign; this is a separate project. AER is separate from Combined Federal Campaign so that we can take care of our own Families within our own formations,” said Col. William Pfeffer, garrison commander.

“We are the ones that are most affected in using the AER program,” Pfeffer said.

Pfeffer explained that decisions are made between approving authorities on whether a request for a loan or grant should be approved along with financial planning. One will not come without the other.

“This next year’s going to be a hard year. We already see that coming with everything about sequestration and continuing resolution and we need to have the programs at our fingertips that allow us to take care of Army Families,” Pfeffer said.

Guest speaker Andy Cohen, deputy director for finance and treasurer from Army Emergency Relief in Alexandria, Va. stressed that one of the biggest benefits of the AER program is that it is safe in these uncertain times when Soldiers are going to need it the most.

“It’s private money, it’s not government money. So when there’s talk of CRs (continuing resolutions) and sequestration and cuts, the money to take care of Soldiers will always be there,” said Andy Cohen, Army Emergency Relief, deputy director for finance and treasurer.

“It’s the Soldier’s money, it was raised primarily by Soldiers during World War II and today,” Cohen said

“Whose in a better position to know what Soldiers need then their chain of command?” Cohen said.

Another plus for this program is that it’s localized and personal.

“It’s always been a commander’s program and it continues to operate that way. At the National Headquarters we provide here, to Col. Pfeffer, a stack of blank AER checks, a book on how to give out assistance, and access to case management software and we say, ‘it’s your program take care of your Soldiers, make sure they get to AER when they need it.’”

“It’s dependent on you all Commanders and leaders to know your Soldiers and know when they need help,” Cohen said.

Cohen stated that using the AER program over online companies in emergency situations saves Soldiers a tremendous amount of money and un-needed stress.

To donate contact your unit representative or call Chuck Mathews, post AER coordinator, at 596.0212.





Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 March 2013 )