Army Emergency Relief donation campaign is underway on Fort Wood

Fort Leonard Wood kicked off its Army Emergency Relief donation campaign last Wednesday during the monthly Community Information Forum in Pershing Community Center on the post. As the U.S. Army’s official nonprofit, AER provides grants, interest-free loans, and scholarships to promote readiness and help relieve any financial distress of Soldiers and their families. Before filling out his contribution form alongside other senior leaders, Major General James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Commanding General said AER provides a place to go for those in need — he encouraged leaders throughout the installation to speak with their Soldiers on the value of giving to AER. This year marks AER’s 81st year, and Fort Leonard Wood AER Officer Chuck Matthews said the goal here is to once again be No. 1 in U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and the Army for a percentage of donors. The Fort Leonard Wood campaign saw 52 percent of Soldiers participating in 2021 — best in both TRADOC and the Army — and 68 percent in 2022 — best in TRADOC and runner up Army-wide. Matthews said Fort Leonard Wood’s AER office assisted 489 Soldiers and retirees here with more than $780,000 in assistance in 2022 and more than $4 million in assistance and scholarships for military spouses and children since 2018. He spoke on the high return on investment AER provides here. “We raised $190,000 last year, and we assisted Soldiers with just short of $800,000,” he said. “That’s $4.22 in assistance for every dollar we raised in the campaign.” Call 573.596.2595 or 0212 to make an AER donation. To request AER assistance, call 573.596.3154. More information on AER is available on their website.