By Sgt. 1st Class Jacob A. McDonald
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
The top three contributing Fort Carson units to this year’s Army Emergency Relief Campaign were recognized in a ceremony at The Hub Monday.
The campaign, now in its 71st year, raised more than $296,000 for the installation AER, exceeding the goal of $225,000.
The top contributing unit was 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, which contributed $34,702.
The other two top units, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., contributed $17,230, and 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., contributed $16,162.16.
“AER is one of the few functions exclusively dedicated to helping Soldiers and their Family members,” said Col. David Grosso, garrison commander, guest speaker at the ceremony, adding that AER helped 55,000 Soldiers across the Army in 2012 with more than $68 million.
The AER program provides zero-interest loans to help Soldiers, retirees and Families who find themselves in financial difficulty.
“Your money is having the desired effect,” Grosso said to the leaders from the top battalions. “We are taking care of the people who need it most. You cared enough about your fellow Soldiers to find the time to collect the money.”
In addition to thanking the leaders for their efforts, Grosso thanked the noncommissioned officers who collected the money and the Army Community Service staff for its commitment to Soldiers and Families.
Pat Randle, director, ACS, said the AER program is there to help the Soldiers and that they look at each situation to make sure Soldiers don’t have to worry about their Families being taken care of and they can focus on their mission downrange or at home.
While only the top three contributors were recognized in the ceremony, the AER staff values all the contributions they received this year, said Terri Hein, assistant AER loan officer.
“Every dollar goes back to the Soldiers and their Families during times of emergency need,” Hein said. “The money goes to help Families with food, utilities, rent, vehicle repairs and other emergency needs.”
Hein also said there are new categories that have been added which qualify Families for an AER loan.
To apply for AER assistance, contact a unit command financial NCO or ACS. More information can also be found on the AER website: http://www.aerhq.org.