Military Matters: Emergency relief campaign kickoff

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) – Fort Benning is gearing up for its annual emergency relief campaign, geared toward helping soldiers in desperate financial straits.

Back in the 1930's and 40's the fund got a huge boost from the man they called "Old Blood and Guts."

Many people first heard of Gen. George S. Patton, through a movie about his World War II service entitled "Patton."

The film was named Best Picture in 1970 and earned the actor George C. Scott an Academy Award, which he refused.

Patton served as Commanding Gen. of Fort Benning prior to the war. He and his wife Beatrice lived in a house along Baltzell Ave.

Army emergency relief fund member Lionel Grant Sr. says, "He was somewhat independently wealthy, and he decided that he would not take funds from his annual pay, and he donated that all to Army Emergency Relief."

Patton chose to give back to the Army for the care of its own. The emergency relief fund has been providing financial assistance for those in need for more than 80 years.

Grant Sr. explains how it works, "You may have a person going on emergency leave due to a death of a family member. You may have a soldier or spouse who may have a car that is broken, that needs to be repaired, and they don't have the funds to be able to repair that vehicle. And we're there for them to take care of that."

The campaign kickoff of this year's fundraising effort is called "Leave No Soldier in Need."

It gets underway at 10 a.m. on Monday Mar. 7 at the Benning Club on Main Post.

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