Expanded coverage to help with special needs, immigration fees
Army Emergency Relief will kick off its annual fundraising campaign at 7 a.m. Feb. 28 during a breakfast at the Strong Europe Café dining facility on Clay Kaserne. U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Commander Col. Noah Cloud; Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Chad Pinkston; and retired Lt. Col. Joel J. Levesque, chief financial officer for AER, will speak at the event.
AER provides interest-free loans, grants and scholarships for Soldiers, retired Soldiers and their Families. It helps pay for things such as emergency travel, health care expenses, food purchases, rent or mortgage, minor home repairs and other expenses.
The best thing about AER is that it gives Soldiers an opportunity to resolve a problem without getting themselves into insurmountable debt, said Federica LeMauk, USAG Wiesbaden AER officer.
“The biggest feature of AER is the interest-free loan,” she said. “So Soldiers can address problems without seeing those problems become bigger and bigger, which usually happens if you get a loan somewhere else.”
This year, AER has added two new categories that are covered, LeMauk said. One is special needs. The intent is to provide assistance for special needs equipment and adaptive devices. Examples are a device to help someone who does not have the use of his or her legs drive a vehicle, prosthetic devices, orthotics or lift modifications for transport vehicles. These would be equipment or devices not covered by insurance or supplemental insurance.
The other new category is immigration fees. The coverage extends to recently married active duty Soldiers with foreign-born spouses and children, LeMauk said. It covers passport, immigration, visa, naturalization and biometric fees. It does not include routine passport fees not related to the immigration and naturalization process or registering a birth abroad to American parents. The intent is to promote Family unity and reduce the financial burden of maintaining two separate households, she said.
A 5k run is planned for April 26 at the Fitness Center and a golf tournament is planned for May 17 at the Rheinblick Golf Course. Follow the garrison on Facebook, visit the garrison website, home.army.mil/wiesbaden and read next month’s Herald Union for details.
This year’s campaign ends May 17. Visit www.aerhq.org for more information on AER eligibility and programs, or stop by ACS and visit with LeMauk.