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United States Army
Army Emergency Relief - Lewis Main
2140 Liggett Ave.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433-9500
If you need emergency assistance, you can expect to get help from your installation, your branch of service resources. There are programs to support you in a variety of situations, including victim assistance, emergencies en route and service-specific relief societies. Below, you’ll find types of assistance, contact information, and detailed procedures and guidance to help you through any tough circumstances that you or your family may face.
For immediate emergency assistance, please call 911. For non-emergency assistance, please call 253-912-4442/4446. You may also call 253-389-8469 for sexual assault assistance or information, and 253-966-7233 for domestic violence assistance.
Air Force Aid Society
The Air Force Aid Society, or AFAS, is the official charity of the United States Air Force. The Society supports the Air Force mission by providing worldwide emergency financial assistance to airmen and their eligible family members.
The Society provides interest free loans and grants to active duty Air Force members and their dependent family members, retired Air Force members, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel on extended active duty over 15 days under Title 10, U.S.C.
We help with things like basic living expenses (rent, utilities or food), emergency leave transportation, car repair, medical/dental expenses, bridge loans for funeral expenses and special situations and/or unique needs.
A few examples of what AFAS CANNOT help with....non essentials, vacation or ordinary leave, fines or court/legal fees, cover bad checks or pay credit card bills.
How to get assistance for you or your family
You can complete an on-line application at the AFAS https://my.afas.org/memberportal/Login/Login.aspx.
Once your application is submitted you will be prompted to call the nearest AFAS office to set up an appointment.
Visit your AFAS section by going to, Building 100, suite 1091 on McChord Field or call us at 253-982-7027 during our duty hours: Monday thru Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. AFAS sections are located at Air Force bases worldwide - most are located at the Airman and Family Readiness Centers.
If you're away from JBLM but near an Army post or Navy/Marine Corps or Coast Guard base the Air Force Aid Society has reciprocal agreements that allow you to receive assistance through these other agencies: Army Emergency Relief, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.
AFAS also has a reciprocal agreement with the American Red Cross. If you're not near a military installation, contact the Red Cross at 877-272-7334 to do a referral to AFAS.
AFAS after-hours emergencies (evenings and weekends), call the American Red Cross at 877-272-7334 or you can call your unit first sergeant will who will be able to contact a local AFAS representative.
The second prong of the Society's charter is education assistance. The General Henry H Arnold Education Grant Program provides need-based education grants to eligible spouses of active duty and deceased Air Force members and dependent children of active, retired and deceased members.
The Society also offers a number of targeted quality of life community programs to help ease some of the stresses affecting airmen and their families. Some of the more popular programs are:
For more information go to the AFAS website or call us at 253-982-2695.
The American Red Cross at Joint Base Lewis-McChord helps members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to the challenges of military service. Our services include a global emergency communication network, resiliency programs, support to military and veteran’s medical facilities, and volunteer opportunities.
When family emergencies occur, such as the death or illness of an immediate family member, the Red Cross assists 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through our global communication network. No matter where a service member or their family is stationed, they can rest assured that the Red Cross will deliver their message in times of crisis. The Red Cross sends a verified report of the emergency to the military member's commander. This assists the commander in making a decision to grant emergency leave.
In an effort to meet the needs of today's service members and their families, the Red Cross provides three ways to access assistance:
1. Call toll-free at 877-272-7337
2. Go online to redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork
3. Via the Red Cross Hero Care mobile app
For faster service, be prepared to give the agent the service member's unit name, date of birth, Social Security number, phone number and address. You will also need to provide contact information about the authority that can verify the emergency (example: doctor, nurse, police, funeral home director, coroner, social worker) and details about the emergency (what happened and when, who was involved, and who can provide consent to service the message).
The Red Cross offers resiliency programs to members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families through three impactful programs: Coping with Deployments, Reconnection Workshops and Mind-Body Workshops. The programs are similar in their mission to teach effective resiliency skills as preventative tools for the challenges and stresses of military life. All resiliency programs are available free of charge, confidential and led by licensed mental health professionals with additional Red Cross training.
Support to military and veterans medical facilities
Military duty can have physical and psychological impact on a service member. Every day, Red Cross volunteers provide support in Veterans Affairs and military medical facilities in the area. These volunteers provide comfort and peace of mind to veteran and military families who are recovering from illness and injury.
Please contact the JBLM Red Cross with any questions, or to find out about our volunteer opportunities. You can reach us by phone at 253-966-3889,or stop by our office at 4201 West Way (near the fire station and exit 119 on Lewis Main). We are open Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Army Emergency Relief
AER is a private, non-profit organization incorporated in 1942 by the Secretary of War and Army Chief of Staff. AER's mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to Soldiers, active and retired, their Family members, their widow (ers), and orphans during valid emergencies that require immediate attention. Assistance is provided as an interest-free loan, grant or a combination loan and grant. Any emergency must have originated from other than the Soldier’s own actions (i.e., AWOL, Article 15, or civilian fines).
•By Appointment (intakes & returns): Intakes are conducted by phone and returns are conducted by appointment. Contact the AER office at (253) 967-9852 for an initial intake and make a return appointment at https://jblmfrp.timetap.com for returns. You can also go to the JBLM AER website https://jblm.armymwr.com/programs/AER for additional information.
•Walk-ins (emergency travel): Walk-ins are available for emergency travel (Red Cross messages death or illness), privation due to floods, fires or natural disasters.
•Red Cross - If you experience an emergency financial need that cannot wait until normal duty hours, or you our outside of a 50 mile radius of an aid society please contact the American Red Cross Emergency Services Center at (toll-free) 1-877-272-7337.
AER Eligibility and Assistance
Who does AER help?
•Active duty Soldiers (single or married), and their dependents •Members of the Army Reserve National Guard (ARNG) and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) on continuous active duty under Title 10 orders for more than 30 consecutive days and their dependents •ARNG and USAR Soldiers who retired at age 60 and their dependents •Surviving spouses and orphans of Soldiers who die while on active duty or after they retired. Survivors can contact JBLM Survivor Outreach Services at 253-967-3672/966-5047 for assistance.
What type of assistance does AER provide?
•An interest-free loan or a grant, if repayment of loan will cause undue hardship (determined by the AER Officer on a case-by-case basis), or •A combination of a loan and grant (determined by the AER Officer on a case-by-case basis)
Is there a dollar limit on AER assistance?
No, AER assistance can meet your qualified, emergency need.
How long does it take to get AER help?
Depending on the nature of your requests, it may take 1-2 business days.
What AER can and cannot do
AER can help with emergency financial needs for:
•Food, rent or utilities
•Essential POV repairs for safe operation •Emergency transportation •Funeral expenses for a parent of the soldier or spouse •Emergency medical/dental expenses •Emergency needs when pay is delayed or funds stolen (LES and/or police report required) •Give undergraduate-level education scholarships, based primarily on financial needs, to children of Soldiers •Provide spouses of active duty Army Soldiers and widow(ers) of Army Soldiers financial assistance to further their education via the AER Stateside Spouse's Education Assistance Program (SEAP) AER cannot:
•Finance ordinary leave or vacations for other than emergency leave •Pay fines, divorce or legal fees, bail and taxes •Help liquidate or consolidate debt •Assist with house purchase or home improvements •Help purchase or lease a vehicle •Cover bad checks or pay credit card bills (including the Government Travel Card) •Purchas of items for convenience or luxury AER Educational Assistance
AER’s Education Program is a secondary mission to help Army Families with the costs of education. The three separate scholarship programs are:
Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program • Applicant must be the Spouse or widow(er) of an active duty or retired Soldier and reside in the United States.
• Stateside applicants must be full time students.
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Active duty military personnel are not eligible.
Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependent Children.
Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program • Applicants must be a Spouse of an active duty Soldier assigned in Europe, Korea, Japan, or Okinawa.
• Applicants must physically reside with the Soldier at the assigned location.
• Off post students are not eligible.
• Spouses may be part time or full time students.
Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependent Children • Dependent children, stepchildren, or legally adopted children of Army Soldiers on active duty, retired or deceased while in active duty or retired status.
The children of Grey Area Reservists/National Guard are eligible as well.
Scholarship awards will be awarded up to half the cost of tuition. Scholarship awards are based on financial need, as evidenced by income, assets, Family size, and special circumstances.
Applications and instructions are available for all the scholarships on the AER website at www.aerhq.org
•What you should bring to AER
When visiting AER you should bring the following:
•Military ID card
•Most recent end-of-month Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) and mid-month (if applicable) •Emergency Leave form (DA Form 31) or PCS orders •Substantiating documents related to the assistance you are requesting (i.e. major car repair estimate, rental agreement, eviction notice, utility bill, disconnection notice, etc.) •Retirement Statement Account (RSA) AER referral forms are online view all AER forms at: https://www.aerhq.org/Resources-and-Forms. But it is important you complete the correct form. Before you download and complete a form, please visit your local AER office to confirm which form is required.
Hand carry your important papers (orders, ID cards, passports, legal documents, household goods documents, school transcripts, telephone numbers for your relatives, your sponsor, your gaining unit, and the command post here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord). They will be invaluable in case of an emergency while traveling.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord has both the Army Emergency Relief and the Air Force Aid Society here to help if you find you have a financial emergency. Please see the information listed below for each of the emergency aid societies.
No matter how well you have planned your move, emergencies do happen. If you encounter an emergency that will prevent you from being on time for signing-in, call the Replacement Attachment at 253-967-7004.
Planning for Emergencies
No matter how well you've planned, emergencies do happen. What should you do in case of emergency while you are traveling?
AER Educational Assistance
Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program• Applicant must be the Spouse or widow(er) of an active duty or retired Soldier and reside in the United States. • Stateside applicants must be full time students. • First undergraduate degrees only.• Active duty military personnel are not eligible.
Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program • Applicants must be a Spouse of an active duty Soldier assigned in Europe, Korea, Japan, or Okinawa. • Applicants must physically reside with the Soldier at the assigned location. • First undergraduate degrees only.• Off post students are not eligible.• Spouses may be part time or full time students.
Typical Cases AER Does Not Assist
Finance ordinary leave or vacations for other than emergency leave, Pay fines, divorce or legal fees, bail and taxes, Help liquidate or consolidate debt, Assist with house purchase or home improvements, Help purchase or lease a vehicle, Cover bad checks or pay credit card bills (including the Government Travel Card) and purchase of items for convenience or luxury.
Typical Cases AER Assists
Food, rent or utilities, Essential POV repairs for safe operation, Emergency transportation, funeral expenses for a parent of the soldier or spouse, Emergency medical/dental expenses , Emergency needs when pay is delayed or funds stolen (LES and/or police report required), Give undergraduate-level education scholarships, based primarily on financial needs, to children of Soldiers and provide spouses of active duty Army Soldiers and widow(ers) of Army Soldiers financial assistance to further their education via the AER Stateside Spouse's Education Assistance Program (SEAP)