As the needs of the Army community evolve, so do Army Emergency Relief’s assistance programs. After the impact of 9-11, AER supplemented the Army’s programs by creating several categories of assistance for Families and Soldiers alike. The two programs highlighted below are the Army Recovery Care Coordinate Directorate (formally AW2) and the Pentagon Victim Scholarship Program.
Army Recovery Care Coordinate Directorate
Army Emergency Relief and the Army Recovery Care Coordinate Directorate have been partnered since 2012 to take care of Soldiers who suffer from injuries sustained during combat or combat training. Both share a primary emphasis to provide provisions and financial support for Wounded Warriors as they undertake their recovery journey and transition to post-service life.
A shared characteristic of both AER and ARCCD is their mindset, best expressed by AER Financial Assistance Administrator CSM (R) Scott Wilder:
“Taking care of our Wounded Warriors is a top priority. We will do our best to help these Soldiers and recognize that every Soldier has a different journey to recovery. Their needs will not be the same, so if they need something and are not sure of what AER provides, they simply need to ask.”
To ensure success, ARCCD assigns AW2 Advocates to every Wounded Warrior to advise and assist them throughout the entire process. This includes connecting Wounded Warriors to available resources in local communities and helping them fill out and submit requests directly to AER when financial assistance is needed. AW2 Advocate involvement allows AER to get funds into the hands of the Wounded Warrior in a productive, efficient manner, helping Soldiers with the financial hardships they face.
Since 2012, over 6,000 Soldiers have benefited from ARCCD, and together, AER and ARCCD have provided over $16M to Wounded Warriors. Progress will not slow anytime soon, as, in the words of CSM Wilder, “As long as there’s a need, we’ll be here.”
Pentagon Victims Scholarship
AER provides many sources of financial support for the Families of Soldiers who were victims of 9/11, making sure that Soldiers are always being taken care of. Specifically, The Pentagon Victims Scholarship Program is directed at the dependent Spouses and children of the Army Soldiers killed or injured in the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11.
The goals of the scholarship are straightforward. The primary emphasis was on meeting the immediate financial needs of the Family. Secondarily, all dependent children were to have the opportunity to complete their college education. Having dispersed over $3.6M for children and $91k for Spouses today, it is safe to say these goals are met. However, the Pentagon Victim Scholarship went even further to even provide funding for graduate degrees.
The application process starts with the program first contacting those eligible. After a short application is completed, the fund can be processed. There is no timeline or deadline for the completion and all recipients are walked through the process.
Programs like ARCCD and the Pentagon Victim Scholarship show AER’s commitment to helping Families and Soldiers, whether it be in the form of immediate financial relief or even long-term support throughout higher education. For more information about eligibility and the programs, Soldiers should contact their local AER officer or, in the event a local office is inaccessible or located further than 50 miles away, the American Red Cross is authorized to process the assistance request (1-877-272-7337)