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Posted: August 3, 2018 9:17 a.m.
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James Fleming provides financial help

ACS Behind the Scenes


Financial readiness program manager, James Fleming works at Fort Stewart ACS, is the spotlight of this weeks ACS Behind the Scenes.

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Financial readiness program manager James Fleming, will give you a grin that will ease any tensions you may have when you walk into his office.  As you enter, you will most likely hear jazz music and be met with a smile that is assuring and know that you will be helped. 

Flemings notes it can be overwhelming walking into an office where the topic of discussion is as personal as your finances. It can feel like you are being suffocated by the worries of bills piling on with no end in sight; however, the people in the Army Community Services  financial readiness program at both Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield,  will ease any discomfort and bring forth the best solution for military members and their families.

Fleming stresses the importance of coming to see a financial readiness/Army emergency relief specialist first when it comes to needing assistance. The financial readiness and AER programs aim to do everything in their power help service members, veterans, surviving spouses and children or prevent unnecessary financial hardness due to misinformation or undue chagrin.  AER provides interest free loans, grants if repayment of loans can cause undue hardship or a combination of a loan and a grant. This is a program that cannot be found anywhere else and is aimed specifically at Soldiers and their Families.

The financial readiness and AER team have outstanding individuals according to Fleming. Financial readiness/AER specialists, Kemuel Brown, Randy Knox, Renee McClinton and Darlene Pearson conduct private, closed door meetings with military members to assess their financial needs and do what they can to provide the best service and solution. Another team member Janie Smith, conducts the same duties at Hunter Army Airfield. 

Frederick Sledge, the AER officer is extremely knowledgeable on the AER process and with all others of the financial readiness/AER program strives for the moment where Soldiers and their Families have the visible look of a weight being lifted right off their shoulders.

Each financial readiness specialist can provide financial planning, couples financial counseling, training on how to manage finances, investment solutions, spending budgets and much more that all aim to ease any financial concerns and provide military members with the ability to be financially secure and independent. Classes and workshops regarding budgeting, car and home buying, the Thrift Savings Plan and many more are available at no cost for military members and their families.

AER is a private nonprofit organization that is funded by donations and grants by various members of the community. AER can assist with the essential aspects of daily living. This can include rent, mortgage, utilities, deposits, food, medical/dental relief, PCS expenses, funeral expenses, vehicle repair, cranial helmets, home repairs and many more. AER does not desire to make profit, it is intended solely to provide financial assistance to military members and their families to prevent immoderate financial stress

Myths or rumors regarding the financial readiness/AER program should immediately be dispelled. Active duty Soldiers who are single or married and their DEERS enrolled Family members, Army National Guard and Army Reserves Soldiers on continuous active duty and their DEERS enrolled Family members as well as retired Soldiers, Army National Guard and Army Reserves and their dependents are all eligible for AER assistance. 

Surviving spouses and orphans are also eligible for receiving AER assistance. 

If you fall into any of the listed categories and need financial assistance, please use AER as your first choice when exploring relief options.

On Fort Stewart, you can walk into ACS building 86 for assistance or contact the specified financial readiness/AER specialist located in your respective brigade. 

The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team financial readiness specialist is Brown at 767-3911 or 767-3498.  For 2ABCT, please contact Knox at 435-7852. For 3rd Sustainment Brigade contact  McClinton at  767-8727 and for DIVARTY, contact Pearson at 767-4927. 

Hunter Army Airfield units can contact Smith at 315-6816. 

All others may contact Sledge at 767-5065, located in ACS building 86. 

For more information regarding financial readiness/AER Programs, please visit any Army installation AER office. Assistance can also be found at any military installation. If there are no military installations in a reasonable distance, contact the American Red Cross 24-hour military assistance line at (877) 272-7337. 

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