Kaiserslautern kicks off AER campaign

Story and photo by Rick Scavetta
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

Soldiers, civilians and family members gathered March 1 at the Landstuhl Community Center for a breakfast that marked the kickoff to this year’s Army Emergency Relief fund campaign.

The AER program was started in 1942 by the secretary of war and the Army chief of staff. Over the years, AER has offered more than $1.2 billion in assistance.
Over the past year, more than $24,700 was offered in Kaiserslautern in the form of 51 grants to Soldiers. Also, 206 loans were grants — a total of $321,000.

Lt. Col. Kevin Hutchison, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern, said he hopes the breakfast attendees would talk to their units and peers about the importance of AER.

The campaign runs until May 15.

It’s easy to contribute, using an allotment, cash or checks, through designated AER unit representatives, he said. Contributions can also be made by contacting AER on Pulaski Barracks or going to AER online.

“We’re getting the benefit. Now, it’s time for us to give back,” Colonel Hutchison said.