Fort McCoy hosts 2024 AER campaign kickoff breakfast

Scott Sturkol | Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office | March 1, 2024sharethis sharing button

Fort McCoy began its support for the 82nd Army Emergency Relief Campaign on Feb. 28 with a campaign kickoff breakfast at McCoy’s Community Center.

The AER campaign runs annually from March 1 to May 15, however this year it will run through June 14, according to the AER webpage, AER helps provide emergency financial funds for food, rent, funeral expenses, emergency medical expenses, and other needs.

Contributions to AER help active-duty Soldiers (single and married) and their Families, retirees and their Family members and surviving spouses or orphans of Soldiers who died while on active duty or after they retired.

The breakfast included dozens of Fort McCoy community members. The breakfast was organized by the Fort McCoy Army Community Service Office with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Fort McCoy Garrison Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Mike Corkum and Fort McCoy Deputy to the Garrison Commander Cameron Cantlon provided opening remarks at the event. ACS Director Sylvia Lopez also provided opening and welcoming remarks to breakfast attendees.

“This is one of the ways the garrison and command can help support our Soldiers and get them the help they need within the Army,” Corkum said.

Fort McCoy ACS’ lead campaign coordinator, Janeen Folgers, led the discussion about the campaign. She noted how AER helps many people in many categories, including through financial assistance as well as scholarships.

“In 2023, we gave out $46,895 in loans and grants to active-duty Soldiers and $7,241 to retired Soldiers,” Folgers said.

Folgers also noted that AER has provided more than $2 billion overall in assistance since 1942, and more than $1 billion since 9/11.

“In 2023, more than 30,000 Soldiers and retired Soldiers received about $60 million in AER assistance,” Folgers said during her briefing. “Almost $11 million was provided as grants. … AER additionally awarded $8 million in educational scholarships for dependent children and spouses.”

AER Chairman, retired Army Gen. John F. Campbell, has stated on the website in the past the importance of AER and of supporting it.

“Army Emergency Relief has always been an important tool for commanders,” Campbell said. “In my nearly 40 years of service, I repeatedly witnessed the impact Army leaders had on their Soldiers’ lives by sending them to their AER office for financial assistance. … Since our founding in 1942, this organization has relied on the camaraderie and generosity that exists between our men and women in uniform.”

In addition to government civilian employees and Soldiers, retired Army personnel also can donate to the AER campaign. At Fort McCoy, contact Folgers or Michael Larsen at ACS for more information on how to donate and how to get support from AER. People can also get more information by visiting the AER website at

Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.

The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.

More on the 2024 AER Annual Campaign.