FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - The Army’s mission is to get its soldiers ready for combat, but in order to do so, their personal lives also have to be in check. The Army Community Service, ACS, financial readiness program on Fort Sill and the nonprofit, Army Emergency Relief, AER, are making sure soldiers are both combat and financially ready.
When soldiers first arrive on Fort Sill, they meet with officials to discuss financial planning.
“In financial readiness, we’re about education,” said Kenneth Lewis, financial readiness program manager on Fort Sill. “Our goal is actually to train, educate soldiers on how to save and invest money, how to eliminate debt, how to set up a spending plan, basically, basic financial stuff so that just in case the month is longer than your money, AER’s there as a last resort.”
AER provides soldiers with zero interest loans, grants and even scholarships for family and children.
From basic living expenses, to emergency transportation, AER can provide funding in some cases less than 24 hours within submitting an assistance application.
“We couldn’t possibly think of all the things that could go wrong in your life. So even if you go to our website, it’s really easy, it’s www.armyemergencyrelief.org and you can look at our categories of assistance,” said LTG (R) Raymond Mason, AER director. “If something you’re dealing with isn’t listed, still contact us. Get on the website, submit an assistance application.”
AER usually holds an annual campaign to raise money to give out those funds, but the pandemic put a halt to that. However, the Army has authorized a special campaign through the end of July to continue their efforts.
“So the campaign is really about 100% informed of the Army team about the programs and benefits of AER,” said LTG Mason. “Now, it’s also about donations, and we’ve got to generate donations, but donations will come. Donations don’t keep me up at night. It’s some soldier hurting.”
To learn more about financial planning, contact ACS on Fort Sill, or if it is a financial emergency, AER, and they will assist you.