Raising funds and awareness kicks off AER campaign

| March 11, 2016 | 0 Comments
2nd Lt. Joshua Bachman of 307th ESB, 516th Sig. Bde., 311th Sig. Cmd., speaks about help he received in a financial crisis at the AER Kickoff Campaign, March 4.

2nd Lt. Joshua Bachman of 307th ESB, 516th Sig. Bde., 311th Sig. Cmd., speaks about help he received in a financial crisis at the AER Kickoff Campaign, March 4.

Story and photo by

Christine Cabalo
Staff Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Army Emergency Relief can help Soldiers when they are facing a financial crisis.

This information was passed along during the AER Campaign Kickoff held Friday at the Nehelani, here.

“Financial strife knows no demographic,” said Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, commander, U.S. Army-Hawaii and commander, 25th Infantry Division.

160304-D-RT812-034“The AER is a remarkable foundation, extraordinary in what it does,” he added. “The AER delivers. They are action-oriented and the staff cares about the Army family. They also can help retirees, which you might not know.”

Since the relief campaign began in 1942, volunteers have raised more than $1.7 billion to help 3.7 million Soldiers and their families, according to the 2014 AER annual report.

Flynn reported that in 2015 approximately $2 million was given to surviving family members of fallen Soldiers.

The AER provides interest-free loans, counseling and other services for a variety of financial emergencies. The nonprofit organization relies on donations from Soldiers and other supporters to keep the program going.

Flynn and those who spoke at the kickoff stressed how anyone can face a monetary emergency without warning and then needs AER’s help.

Facing a financial crisis at Christmas was the last thing expected for Spc. Forrest Cunningham with 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID.

Cunningham shared at the kickoff how, even with his careful planning for the holidays, he was violently carjac­­­ked at gunpoint with criminals taking his car and presents.

“My car was recovered, but with substantial damages,” Cunningham said. “I was turned away from the insurance company.”

He said AER’s help of funds offered him the peace of mind to keep focused on the mission and ensured he was deployable with a well-maintained vehicle.

The AER staff is experienced in handling a variety of financial emergencies.

“The top three categories (for emergencies) here at Schofield Barracks are emergency travel, personally owned vehicle costs and issues related to rent,” said Gwen Galloway, AER officer at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

Galloway was also a friendly face in a financial crisis for 2nd Lt. Joshua Bachman of 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 516th Signal Brigade, 311th Sig. Command (Theater). She was able to offer him an interest-free loan quickly after explaining his problems dealing with the high cost of living in Hawaii.

“If you are ever in a financial emergency, (they will help you efficiently) and warmly,” Bachman said. “They will do the same for you.”

160304-D-RT812-055Command support
The AER staff celebrated this partnership with active duty Soldiers by bestowing a coin and certificate of appreciation to Flynn for his help. He and his command senior officers expressed the importance of donating.

“As Army leaders, we have a moral obligation to care for and provide support to our dedicated men and women – the kind of care and support that allows them to sustain the strength of their families,” said Sgt. Maj. Scott Brazk, senior enlisted leader, 25th ID. “Army Emergency Relief is a critical resource, which helps us provide that support.”

Army Emergency Relief in Hawaii
For additional information and to download forms to request help, visit www.himwr.com/financial-management.http://www.himwr.com/financial-management

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Category: Community, Leadership

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