While most people do their best to be independent, sometimes life gets in the way. It’s in these difficult moments when even strong, independent people reach out for help.

This is what LTG (ret.) Raymond V. Mason learned from key mentors and leaders throughout his 35 years in the Army. Mason led the 82nd Airborne as the Support Commanding Officer, and also served in Grenada. Later, Mason served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, for HQ, US Army G-4 during his last tour on active duty.

In this episode of Borne the Battle, LTG Mason talks about his belief that receiving help in times of struggle is a sign of great strength. LTG Mason continues to carry on this truth as he serves as the Director of the Army Emergency Relief (AER), sharing how qualified Veterans can access financial support in hard times.


In this podcast, Mason shares AER’s support and resources:

  • Support during disasters
  • Scholarships for secondary education
  • Assistance during childcare
  • And far more EXCLUSIVE content


Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:

Additional links:

Hayoung Oh is a podcast intern with the VA’s Digital Media Engagement Team. He is currently an undergraduate at UC Berkeley studying Public Health.

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Published on Apr. 27, 2020

Estimated reading time is 1.3 min.

Views to date: 249


  1. Glenda Williams April 30, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    a 30 yr old Active duty service member currently going through medical separation due to chronic PTSd. Im a mother of 7 children 4 girls and 3 boys ages 11,5,4,3,4,2,and 5 months old. Im going through a divorce due to Domestic Abuse / family violence. As I get ready to transition into the civilian life again I’m under alot of financial hardship.Due to the pandemic I have exhausted most of my funds trying to ensure I had enough essentials for myself and the children during the quarantine. This has caused a domino effect of deficit. I’m now behind on several bills., and have several loans I need to pay off. The small business I started that supplied me with additional income has completely been shut down due tho the social distancing order. I’m expected to be officially separated from the military in June. I currently live in military housing and need to find a house big enough for everyone in a short amount of time. My credit score is fair and I do currently qualify for a VA loan and I dont have enough money saved to pay for a deposit and first month rent or closing cost for a home. Lastly I’m behind on my car insurance and car note the car I have is too small to fit all the children safely in carseats. I’m really at a lost for words and my Anxiety and Depression has skyrocketed. I’m doing my best to maintain my sanity during this time but I realize I cant do that on my own. I sincerely need help. I dont have any friends or family support besides my younger sister who lives with me to help me with the children. Due to my PTSD symptoms it’s hard for me to keep and maintain relationships. Most of the time I’m isolated. At this point I’m in desperate need of help…any and every resource is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. J. Conner April 30, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Hello, I would like to respectfully ask for just a little help. My son and I are being evicted from our home and have nowhere to go. I’m not asking for a free ride, just some help, please.

  3. John Carpenter Jr. April 30, 2020 at 9:14 am

    I have a hard time wrightitng this because I know there are several others out there that are in a worse situation then my wife and I. I am a vietnam era Marine disabled and have had cancer, storke, lost must of my blood and have been close to death about 6 or 7 times now. The lord must have a bigger plan for my wife and I since she has had her trouble as well including a heart attack and phneomua just in the last three months. My Charter boat boat business is being shut down in R.I. until the virus is gone which means probably have to close the doors completely. I am the main supporter of the household income. My full time job as a truck salesman has been cut to 300.00 a week to support a household of two. They won’t lay us off so we could at least get unemployment, and no one is buying trucks right now. Our savings accounts are almost empty and we are being pushed to the limit to find a way to pay the monthly bills and not loose everything we have worked all our lives for.
    I am not complaining since we have a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs at this point.

    But was hoping you could guide us to any emergency help out there that we may qualify for?

  4. Sharon Varner-Fields April 30, 2020 at 3:25 am

    I am a veteran, but can’t seem to get any financial assistance with my housing situation even byhis pandemic happened.

  5. Terry M Cotton April 30, 2020 at 12:09 am

    Your article on AER got my attention. We endured damage to our home due to a flood last year. Insurance has covered a lot of the costs to clean out the house and have it repaired, but not all the costs. The insurance company dropped coverage on the house due to how much they paid out. Is there anything AER can do to assist with the remaining costs we have to pay for?

  6. George Konig April 29, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    The VA has been promising me a laptop computer and a current I pad for about 5 years, nothing yet, my pshologist also said it would help with PTSD problems! I guess getting hurt in Vietnam is not enough.
    Plewse respond at least with a note!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Robert G Sill April 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Just a few short years ago these types of help or programs where not available, I Sure needed help then I lost everything I’ve worked for with the help of a care unit I managed to get sober and worked even harder but as I said I lost it all even after being married for over 50 yrs my wife lives in a different place and when we talk she gets upset over nothing because she is afraid of me ,so much for baby killers and drug attics .a few yrs ago I killed a animal that was hurt and suffering one person who lived close to me raised all kinds of hell and called the police on me when they got here I explained what I did and I started to cry I’m harmless but I’m a veteran we don’t ask for much over the years I couldn’t get jobs because of who I am now I’m old and worn out but I’m alive thank God and a poor sited north Vietnam sniper and my brothers in arms the angels from above 173rd Airborne.

  8. Horst D. Widiger April 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    I am a 100% disabled, combat wounded, veteran of the Vietnam war. Although my wife and I have lived very comfortably, we got caught up in a terrible financial scam and almost lost our home. In an effort to save our home I had to file for bankruptcy. As a result we are now paying over $4,000 dollars a month to keep our home. This is a tremendous burden but we are managing. I am hoping that someone could help us out of this situation. We are not asking for free money. We are simply hoping that someone could direct us to where we could refinance our mortgage to have one lower payment and allow us to live comfortably again. The bankruptcy has prevented us from doing this. We need to wait another 3 years before an alternative is possible. I am 70 years old and retired. Selling the house would be an option but my wife will not give up her dream home and where would we go anyway. We are paying for a blessing.

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