Judd Anstey, AAFES
Recalls ‘Exchange Select’ Alcohol Prep Pads, Swabs and
– The Food and Drug Administration issued a recall
specific to all
lots of alcohol prep pads, swabs and swabsticks manufactured
by Triad Group.
under the “Exchange
Select” label at various Army, Air Force, Marine
Corps, Navy and Coast Exchanges as well as Veteran’s
Canteens, the products have been recalled due to concerns
about “potential contamination of the products with an
objectionable organism, namely Bacillus cereus.”
FDA said it issued the recall “out of an abundance of
caution” as use of contaminated alcohol prep pads, swabs
or swabsticks “could lead to life-threatening infections,
especially in at- risk populations, including immune
suppressed and surgical patients.”
date, the FDA said it has “received one report of a
non-life-threatening skin infection.”
affected product has been removed from shelves. Military
shoppers who previously purchased Exchange Select alcohol
prep pads, swabs or swabsticks are advised to return
recalled product at their nearest Exchange or Canteen for a
Revving Up the Rewards for Safe Bikers
– According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes
result in injury or death, compared to just 20 percent for
of this increased danger, the Exchange is supporting the
military’s mission to reduce motorcycle-related injuries
and deaths among servicemembers by offering a one-time, 20
percent discount off of one Personal
Protection Equipment (PPE) item to cyclists that
successfully complete their locally required motorcycle
safety riding course.
this initiative, the Exchange is playing a large role in
ensuring the safety and well-being of service men and
women,” said the
Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Jeffry Helm.
“Since the PPE program has rolled out, military cyclists
have been better equipped to meet the local riding
Exchange PPE program was first tested at Ft. Hood, Ft.
Campbell and Eglin AFB in the spring of 2009. The test was
so successful that the program was expanded throughout the
United States, Pacific and
Europe in 2010.
Exchange now sells motorcycle PPE, to include helmets,
gloves, protective eyewear and body armor, in 136 facilities
worldwide as well as online at www.shopmyexchange.com.
Products sold through this program meet the highest safety
standards to include all military specs and European and
Pacific testing standards.
is Right’ Salutes America’s Armed Forces
– Members of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and
Coast Guard were invited to “come on down” at a recent military-only
“Price is Right” taping, scheduled to air on
year’s salute to the Armed Forces came complete with an
Army color guard and Marine Corps band. The audience, packed
with Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Coast Guardsmen,
was full of nervous anticipation as the contestants entered
look of hope crept across each service member’s face as
they anticipated the fact that they might be the next
contestant to place an opening bid, get on stage or maybe
even play "Switch, Switch" on a historic
nationally televised program.
visions of Showcase Showdowns danced through their heads,
the affable star of the show, Drew Carey, greeted the crowd
and made his allegiance, as a former Marine, known.
two Marines (Camp Pendleton’s Cpl.
Christopher Morrison and Lance
Cpl. Zachery Garrison), a Soldier (Pfc. Christina Dubry
from Ft. Irwin), Sailor (USS
Ronald Reagan Petty Officer Second Class Sharice Elmore),
Sgt. Amber Honeycutt from Edwards AFB) and Coast
Guardsman (Petty Officer Joshua Tighe from the San Pedro, CA
sector) found themselves just a spin away from tens of
thousands of dollars
Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Chief
of Staff Col. Virgil Williams, who personally delivered
$6,000 in shopmyexchange.com shopping sprees and hundreds of
Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone Cards to the CBS
studio, was just a few feet away from the action.
serving, or who has served, had a vested interest in the
outcome,” said Williams. “The whole show was exciting,
but the end was something anyone who watches won’t soon
to air Nov. 11 on CBS at 11 a.m., ET; 10 a.m., PT, the
program marks the third year that the “Price is Right”
(the longest-running game show in television history) has
dedicated an entire show to America’s Armed Forces.
Exchange Experience Begins at Tinker
– History has been made at Tinker AFB as yesterday’s BX
became today’s “Exchange” with a new look and an
improved shopping experience.
layout of the facility is a dramatic, new approach to the
exchange benefit as the store is divided into three major
merchandise worlds – Home, Life and Style. The customer
service section has been moved to the front of the store
to offer expert service immediately upon entry.
compelling shops and destinations
have been created to fit the active
lifestyle of military shoppers.
evolution of the brand does not stop at the store, however.
The rebranding from AAFES to the
Exchange has been a holistic approach that will create a
new paradigm and consistent corporate message.
message will be evident in tabloids, catalogs, exclusive
brand packaging on the shelves as well as revisions to the
website that will be coming online over the next few months.
began on June 1 and just 116 days later… the
transformation is complete. The fresh colors, textures and graphics
that create a facility custom-designed for military
shoppers’ lifestyles are expected to be replicated at Air
Force and Army installations worldwide.
logo’s new tag line, “You save, we give back,”
emphasizes the Exchange’s competitive prices and support
to Air Force Services and Army Morale Welfare and Recreation
part of its dual mission, roughly two-thirds of Exchange
earnings are returned to quality of life programs such as
youth services, Armed Forces Recreation Centers, arts and
crafts, aquatic centers, post functions and golf courses.
and Air Force Exchanges Listen…and React
– Improved stock assortments, a revamped customer comment
program and a focus on social media are just a few ways Army
and Air Force Exchanges are listening and adjusting to
military shoppers’ needs.
seen in the recent rollout of Vera
Bradley and Coach Store In Store (SIS) concepts, along
Secret Pink, Exchanges continues to focus on new, trendy
and updated styles as well as recognizable name brands.
an effort to meet a continuing demand for more of the best
brands at the best prices, upcoming rollouts will also
include Ladies Izod and Lauren-Ralph Lauren SIS concepts.
addition to the increase in selection, Army and Air Force
Exchanges are developing an internal system to better assist
associates in determining demographic factors when procuring
web-based learning course has also been created to aid in
the merchandising of fashion goods and customer service.
continually adjusting the stock assortment to ensure we have
what military shoppers want and need,” said the Army &
Air Force Exchange Service’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief
Jeffry Helm. “At the same time, we are reaching out to the
military community to find out what they’d like to see
more of and what they want less of.”
feedback continues to be instrumental in allowing the
Exchange to better serve military consumers and improve
their overall shopping experience. The Customer Comment
program, for example, was recently redesigned for 2010 to
include postage-paid comment cards as well as new signing
and fixtures to make it easier for military shoppers to
provide input to Exchange managers.
comment cards that encourage shoppers to see local managers
for on-the-spot corrections or to submit a comment online at
through an 800 number or by mail are available at all Army
and Air Force Exchange locations.
recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the
Department of Defense Washington Headquarters Services and
Evaluation Division now even allows for the central
management of all AAFES-related Interactive Customer
Evaluation (ICE) comments. The result is more data captured
regarding customer satisfaction, trends and issues,
providing a “bigger picture” of what military shoppers
are saying about the Exchange.
placing a greater emphasis on these customer feedback
initiatives, we have nearly doubled the amount of customer
comments from this time one year ago,” said Helm. “As a
result, this invaluable feedback is helping direct efforts
towards delivering a stronger benefit.”
one-on-one communication, the Exchange is continually
engaged in public conversations with military shoppers
through social media channels such as Facebook
In fact, an expressed interest in extended savings
opportunities in these venues prompted the creation of a
recently launched program that makes coupons exclusively
available through the Exchange’s Facebook page.
Shoppers Can Drink in More Than $27,000 of Winnings in
– The Army & Air Force Exchange Service has partnered
with Coca-Cola to give military shoppers the opportunity to
win one of 10 shopping sprees. The “Coke Living Free”
sweepstakes will reward a grand prize of a $5,000 AAFES gift
card to five lucky shoppers. Five first place winners will
net a $500 gift card.
really doesn’t get any easier than this,” said AAFES’
Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Jeffry Helm. “Just
fill out an entry form at your PX/BX and you’re in the
running for a dream shopping spree.”
“Coke Living Free” sweepstakes runs from now through May
27. Contestants must be 18-years-old and older and no
purchase is necessary to enter. Winners will be announced on
or about July 13.
and AAFES Mark Milestone with ‘The Losers’ Premiere
– Since its start in December 2001 with Paramount
Pictures’ “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” the Army &
Air Force Exchange Service’s Distributor Appreciation
program has hosted 149 preview screenings at military
installations the world over.
Sunday, April 18, nearly a full week before its U.S. release
in commercial theaters, AAFES will team up with Warner Bros
Pictures to deliver a landmark 150th military Distributor
Appreciation screening when the action thriller “The
Losers” will be shown at 12 Army and three Air Force
“Reel Time” theaters.
military Distributor Appreciation previews over the last
nine years really is an extraordinary achievement,” said
AAFES Vice President of Food and Theater Roy Robertson.
“Frankly, none of these events would have been possible
without the tremendous efforts of our Motion Picture Team
headed up by Jon Walters and the phenomenal support we
continually receive from the distributors. We’re
excited about working with our partners to deliver another
150 preview screenings to the military communities AAFES so
Losers” is centered upon the members of an elite U.S.
Special Forces unit sent into the Bolivian jungle on a
search and destroy mission. The team finds themselves the
target of a lethal betrayal instigated from inside by a
powerful enemy known only as Max. Presumed dead, the group
makes plans to even the score when they're joined by the
mysterious Aisha, a beautiful operative with her own agenda.
Working together, they must remain deep undercover while
tracking the heavily-guarded Max, a ruthless man bent on
embroiling the world in a new high-tech global war.
Losers” Distributor Appreciation Preview Locations:
installations include: Ft. Bliss, Ft. Bragg, Ft. Campbell,
Ft. Drum, Ft. Gordon, Ft. Hood, Ft. Irwin, Ft. Jackson, Ft.
Lee, Ft. Lewis, Ft. Rucker and Ft. Sill.
Force installations include: Lackland AFB, Nellis AFB and
Go High-Tech at AAFES
– The check “float” at the BX/PX is going the way of
rotary phones and dot matrix printers as the Army & Air
Force Exchange Service converts to a paper check conversion
(PCC) system this year.
scans and instantly converts paper checks into electronic
debits to the check writer’s account,” said Chief
Financial Officer Harold Lavender. “This technology has
been operational in contingency locations for roughly ten
years now and commercial industry for about five; it’s an
extremely efficient system.”
of the PCC program will begin in AAFES CONUS locations on
March 7 and will be totally implemented in all facilities by
June 6. Concurrent rollouts of Pacific and European
exchanges will begin early April with complete
implementation by June 6.
Sweepstakes Offers Shoppers Opportunity to ‘Go Country’
Army & Air Force Exchange Service and Dr. Pepper have
teamed up to offer a boot-scootin’, star-studded weekend
getaway for one lucky shopper or a chance to win one of ten
Pepper Academy of Country Music (ACM) sweepstakes
features a grand prize of a trip for two to Las Vegas from
Apr. 17-19 for the 45th
Annual ACM Awards, three nights at a deluxe hotel, tickets
to events throughout the weekend as well as meals and
transportation. Ten first prize winners will also receive a
custom acoustic vintage guitar valued at approximately $200.
is a dream trip, whether you’re a country music fan or
not,” said AAFES’ Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Jeffry
Helm. “With an approximate retail value of $6,000, the
grand prize offers everything from the sights and sounds of
Vegas to the pomp and circumstance of a major music awards
Jan. 8-21, BXs and PXs around the world are accepting
entries for AAFES’ Dr Pepper ACM Awards Sweepstakes, with
the drawing occurring on or about March 10, 2010. No
purchase is necessary to enter and entrants need not be
present to win.
of Toys and Thousands of Dollars in Prizes in AAFES’ 2009
– Just in time for holiday shopping, the Army & Air
Force Exchange Service has unwrapped its biggest
and most extensive toy book ever. Jam-packed with the
hottest toys, electronics, learning and activities, the 2009
Toy Book has everything to make children’s holiday
dreams come true.
In addition to the incredible selection, the Toy Book
sweepstakes offers more than $22,000 in prizes, including a
$2,500 and $500 AAFES gift card, Sharp 40” LCD TV, Joykie
Bike and much more. Military shoppers can register to win in
stores or online.
military Families won’t have to break the bank filling the
toy chest as the book features more than $400 in coupons.
dreaming of a fun-filled Christmas will find all they could
ever want in the Toy Book,” said AAFES’ Senior Enlisted
Advisor Chief Jeffry Helm. “Featuring hundreds of items
available at both the BX/PX and online, this is truly a
one-stop shopping destination for military Families.”
2009 Toy Book is available at all main stores and online at aafes.com.
Revamped Layaway Program makes it Easier to ‘Shop Now, Pay
– Visit your local exchange and it soon becomes apparent
that reports of layaway’s demise have been greatly
fact, Army & Air Force Exchange Service BXs and PXs are
reintroducing and, in some cases, expanding layaway options.
handbags and shoes are still eligible for 30-day layaway,
but full payment on many other categories can be put off for
up to 60 days when shopping the exchange,” said AAFES’
Chief Operating Officer Mike Howard.
shoppers whose Families’ holiday wish list included
something that sparkles or shines were able to begin making
arrangements as far out as Sept. as fine jewelry can be put
on layaway for up to 120 days at AAFES.
full payment might even be mom and dad’s secret weapon in
keeping presents under wraps this year as toys can be put on
layaway up until Christmas Eve.
the kids look in the attic, under the tree or even your car
trunk,” said Howard. “Keeping the toys on layaway, and
in the exchange’s back room, can really take a lot of
stress out of the holidays.”
purchase of $25 or more is eligible for layaway at AAFES. A
15 percent deposit on the total purchase price is required
to hold a product.
excluded from AAFES’ layaway program includes clearance
merchandise, computers, peripherals, major appliances,
furniture, mattresses, exercise equipment, electronics $299
and up as well as seasonal and outdoor living products.
Partners with Paramount to Bring First Stateside Premier to
AFB – Service members and their Families stationed on
Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland were the first audience to
premier Paramount Pictures latest movie, “G. I. Joe, The
Rise of Cobra” on July 31, a week before the movie is
released for public viewing.
with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, service
members not only got to see the movie, but
meet most of the actors, the Vice Chairman of Paramount
Motion Pictures Group, the producer and director of the
movie as well.
their grand entrance in HUMVEES, the actors entered the red
carpet area in front of the base theater and spent
time meeting 45 wounded warriors and their Families as they
signed autographs, took photos and thanked them for their
service and sacrifices.
making thee rounds on the carpet with the various local
media, they entered the auditorium amidst the screams of
1,000 awaiting fans. The visiting guests conducted a brief
question and answer session and departed just before the
behind the scenes to make this event become a reality was
AAFES’ Motion Picture Program Manager Jon Walters. “This
is our 141st early screening since we began this partnership
in 2001 with our first premier being Paramount Pictures’
Jimmy Neutron,” Walters said. “The distributors are very
supportive of the military. There isn’t one studio that
doesn’t support our efforts to improve the morale of our
service members stateside and abroad.”
Motion Pictures Group Vice President Robert Moore who was
also on hand echoed Walter’s sentiments. “It is an honor
to bring Paramount’s first premier ever on American soil
to the service members,” Moore said. “We can’t thank
the service members enough for what they do. The military
helped a lot with the production of this movie. We are
pleased to let them reap the benefits of their efforts.
We are excited to bring this movie to them and their
added, “We couldn’t make these events happen without the
support of the local installations and their leadership.
We’ve premiered a few movies at Andrews because it is one
of the largest theaters AAFES has, seating 1,000 patrons.
than 200 moviegoers were lined up at 2 p.m. to ensure their
entrance into the theater, AAFES officials provided a second
showing for those who couldn’t get in the first viewing.
“G. I. Joe, The Rise of Cobra” was also screened at
AAFES theaters on Forts Belvior, Bliss, Bragg, Campbell,
Hood, Lewis, Rucker as well as Edwards, MacDill and Sheppard
Air Force Bases on August 1.
Star® Card Gas Discount to Increase by 60 Percent
– Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) gas
stations worldwide are helping take the pain out of the pump
by increasing discounts for drivers using a Military Star®
August 8, pumps currently programmed to reflect a discount
of three cents a gallon for drivers who pay with a Military
Star® Card will jump to five cents a gallon.
addition to the everyday nickel discount, AAFES will
periodically be offering increased savings opportunities at
specified times throughout the year. The first of these
promotions, from Aug. 21-23, will provide a 20 cents per
gallon discount, up to 20 gallons, for drivers paying with a
Military Star® Card.
savings opportunities are going to be unprecedented,” said
AAFES’ Chief Operating Officer Mike Howard. “I’m
excited about the exclusive gas savings we’re going to
offer Military Star® cardholders in the coming months.”
exchange shoppers can learn more about the benefits
available to Military Star® cardholders at www.aafes.com.
Revs Up Service with Firestone Care Car Centers
– The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is
teaming up with Firestone Complete Auto Care to provide
services at 30 Army posts and Air Force bases throughout the
continental United States.
partnership has already brought Firestone Care Centers’
tire and battery, oil, brake, alignment, steering/suspension
and general automotive repair services onto several
installations, including Ft. Hood, Scott AFB and Ft. Sill.
effort is representative of AAFES’ continuing desire to be
the premier collaborative partner with both federal and
commercial entities,” said AAFES’ Senior Enlisted
Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “This command will
continue to explore new business opportunities that provide
military shoppers with an outstanding variety of services
and selection, further enhancing the shopping experience.”
repair prices at AAFES locations will be discounted 10
percent while lubrication costs will be 5 percent cheaper
than off-post prices. Firestone will also include free tire
rotation, balancing and repair for authorized shoppers who
purchase tire service agreements from AAFES.
with all AAFES services, military shoppers at Firestone can
count on reliability, quality and work backed by a
nationwide warranty good at locations both on and off
post,” said Helm.
Firestone Complete Auto Care services are currently, or
scheduled to be, available at the following locations:
MacDill AFB, FL
Andrews AFB, DC
Lackland AFB, TX
Luke AFB, AZ
Ft. Benning, GA
Langley AFB, VA
Ft Carson, CO
Randolph AFB, TX
Hurlburt AF, FL
Tinker AFB, OK
Scott AFB, IL
Ft. Sill, OK
Ft. Stewart, GA
Buckley AFB, CO
Peterson AFB, CO
Ft. Drum, NY
Kirtland AFB, NM
Ft. Riley, KS
Little Rock AFB, AR
Robins AFB, GA
Ft. Lee, VA
Ft. Myer, VA
Hanscom AFB, MA
Barksdale AFB, LA
Ft. Rucker, AL
Redstone Arsenal, AL
Hill AFB, UT
Shaw AFB, SC
Keesler AFB, MS
Ft. Hood, TX Clear Creek
Ft. Hood, TX Warrior Way
Ft. Hood, TX Tank Battalion
Online Mall Now Taking Vacation Reservations
– The Exchange Service’s Exchange Online Mall has
partnered with the U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and
Recreation to help troops take a break without going broke.
any authorized exchange shopper can log on to the Exchange
Online Mall and book a vacation, including 7-night Alaskan
Cruises from $399, Cozumel from $28 per night and an 11-day
European Dream vacation, through FMWRC’s Government
Vacation Rewards program.
convenience, the partnership makes it possible for military
shoppers to book vacations using the Exchange Service’s
proprietary Military Star® card or Military Star® Rewards
competitive interest rate available through the Military
Star® card, combined with the buying power that only
Government Vacation Rewards can offer, means travel is more
affordable than ever before,” said the Army & Air
Force Exchange Service’s Chief Marketing Officer Mat
Dromey. “Packed with vacation values, the adventure begins
when troops and their Families log on through the Exchange
Vacation Rewards offers access to special military pricing
on thousands of cruises, tours, vacation packages, resorts,
hotels, air travel and cars. Currently, military shoppers
who log on to the site through the Exchange Online Mall can
use a Military Star® card to book any package while à la
carte offerings, such as hotel, airline and car rental
services, can be made using a major credit card.
partnership is just the latest example of our strategic goal
to be the premier collaborative partner with federal and
commercial entities,” said Dromey. “Doing so allows us,
and our partners, to provide world-class support to
authorized exchange shoppers, wherever America’s military
is called to serve.”
Card Fees up Over 20 Percent at AAFES Facilities in 2008
– The convenience and use of bank-issued debit and credit
cards at BXs and PXs cost the military community dearly last
year. In fact, Army & Air Force Exchange Service
shoppers who reached for a bank-issued card in ‘08 ended
up shelling out more than $79 million in fees, up 21 percent
compared to 2007.
dual mission to provide quality merchandise and services at
competitively low prices and generate earnings to support
Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs means that something
as seemingly insignificant as a credit or debit fee can add
up to a major quality of life issue,” said AAFES’ Senior
Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “Because
banks charge an average of 1.49 percent of the transaction
total when the credit or debit card is swiped, every
purchase made with one of these cards impacts the
exchange’s ability to maximize the investment military
Families are making in their community.”
all purchases, regardless of the form of payment used, have
the potential to help strengthen the exchange benefit,
shoppers who use the exchanges’ exclusive MILITARY STARSM
Card or pay cash maximize their individual impact on
critical MWR efforts.
two-thirds of earnings generated from a sale is paid to
morale, welfare and recreation, while the other third is
invested in improvements that enhance the shopping
experience,” said Helm. “This structure means that
decreased fees can quickly provide additional arts and
crafts supplies, reduced green fees or maybe even a new
2001, AAFES shoppers have paid more than $500 million in
fees to card-issuing banks, resulting in lost revenues for
the military community. Unlike bank cards, profits generated
from MILITARY STARSM Card purchases are shared with military
communities through contributions to MWR services. These
funds reduce the tax burden of all U.S. citizens and are
used to fund Youth Services, Armed Forces Recreation
Centers, aquatic centers, post functions and golf courses
that are enjoyed by military families across the globe.
the MILITARY STARSM Card or cash is one of the easiest ways
for authorized shoppers to directly impact their exchange
and MWR benefits,” said Helm. “Reducing unnecessary
expenses such as bank fees not only go a long way in
strengthening the overall exchange benefit, but also the
dividend operations annually generate for the military
MILITARY STARSM Card is accepted at all AAFES, Navy, Marine
Corps and Coast Guard Exchange activities, as well as the
Exchange Catalog and the Exchange Online store at www.aafes.com.
exchange shoppers can learn more about the MILITARY STARSM
Card by visiting www.aafes.com
and click on the MILITARY STARSM Card icon.
Gift Cards Deliver Support and Peace of Mind During
– Retailers and gift card suppliers closing their doors
have left thousands of Americans holding millions of dollars
of worthless pre-paid plastic. Soldiers and Airmen even
experienced a scare last month when a gift certificate
vendor of the Department of Defense’s oldest and largest
exchange service, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service,
shuttered its doors and advised recipients that they could
“remit” their gifts for “potential reimbursement.”
was already in the process of transitioning to an
AAFES-backed gift card, so honoring the defunct gift
certificates was a fairly easy decision to make,” said
AAFES’ Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry
Helm. “The DoD actually authorized AAFES to sell gift
cards directly to any American, on behalf on military
families, last October As a result, AAFES now offers gift
cards without a need for third party fulfillment.”
differences between a run-of-the-mill retailer’s gift card
and AAFES-back gift cards are numerous.
starters, exchange gift cards can be redeemed just about
anywhere on the planet as AAFES operates BXs and PXs in some
30 countries. In fact, AAFES currently operates 89 exchanges
throughout the Middle East, including 59 locations in Iraq
alone. This means that even in a war zone, a Soldier,
Airman, Sailor or Marine can redeem an exchange gift card
for just about anything and, because AAFES operates thousand
of facilities, including fast food restaurants, movie
theaters and gas stations, the recipient has the power to
choose what product or service best meets their needs.
an AAFES gift card is affordable. Today, any American can
log on to www.aafes.org,
choose from denominations ranging from $10 to $500, send a
card to an individual or charity and regardless where the
card is going, the sender incurs absolutely not additional
“convenience” or “shipping” charges.
and probably most importantly in light of the economy, AAFES
gift cards are backed by the strength of a nearly 114-year
old military command.
you buy a gift card, you’re taking a gamble that the
retailer will be open when the recipient decides to redeem
it,” said Helm. “As we’ve seen over the course of the
past few months, almost any business can be forced to close
up shop due to sudden and catastrophic economic hardship.
Fortunately, people who choose to send an AAFES gift card
don’t have to worry because whether the card is brought in
tomorrow or next year, we’ll be where our troops are;
delivering a taste of home to those far from the comforts of
friends and family”
gift cards and gift certificates, up to $500, can be sent by
any American who logs on to www.aafes.org
or calls 877-770-4438. From there, BX/PX gift certificates
are sent to individual service members (designated by the
purchaser) or distributed to “any service member”
through the Air Force Aid Society, American Red Cross,
Fisher House Foundation Inc., Navy-Marine Corps Relief, USO
or Soldiers Family Assistance Center.
‘Patriot Family Pet Photo Contest’ Goes to the Dogs
– From a military working dog who lost his partner in Iraq
to the Himalayan vulture nursed back to health in
Afghanistan, photos submitted in the Army & Air Force
Exchange Service’s (AAFES) “Patriot Family Pet Photo
Contest” ranged from heart-tugging to humorous. Of the
more than 600 entries, six winners were chosen based on the
photo and a 50-word or less description of their pet.
the amount and quality of entries, there’s no doubt that
military Families have a special place in their hearts for
their pets,” said AAFES’ Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief
Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “It was extremely rewarding to
see these photos and hear the stories behind them, but it
was also very difficult to narrow them down to just six
grand prize winner was a photo of Lex,
the K9 partner to Cpl. Dustin Jerome Lee, who was killed
in Iraq in March, 2007. Lex was injured in the attack and
later received an honorary Purple Heart before being retired
early and adopted by Cpl. Lee’s family. The Lee family,
and Lex, currently visit VA hospitals and attend speaking
engagements to honor fallen troops. For his entry, Lex (and
his family) received a $1,500 AAFES gift card.
addition to the photo of Lex, first place winner, Zachery
Eierman from Fort Leonard Wood received a $1,000 AAFES gift
card, Emily Seibert from Fort Dix and Benjamin Croom of Fort
Belvoir took second place honors and a $500 gift card while
Tabitha Welsh from MacDill AFB and Alyssa Tinker from Fort
Lewis finished third with each pocketing a $250 gift card.
Winning “Patriot Family Pet Photo Contest” photos, in
addition to 36 runners up, can be found on www.aafes.com
by clicking on the Patriot Family Connection “Patriot
Family Pet Photo Contest.” All photos will eventually be
used in AAFES advertisement publications and its in-house
television network, EXTV.
to Continue Honoring Certifichecks Despite Company’s
– The Army & Air Force Exchange Service announced
today that they would continue to honor and redeem
“Certifichecks,” gift certificates that have been
purchased for service members, despite the recent
announcement that Certifichecks has ceased operations.
Airmen, Sailors or Marines can be assured that if they have
one of these gift certificates they will still be able to
use them to purchase whatever they need at our stores,”
said AAFES’ Chief of Corporate Communication Lt. Col. Dean
AAFES’ troop support initiative, “Gifts From the
Homefront,” was initiated nearly six years ago,
Certifichecks allowed more flexibility than a traditional
gift card due to the fact that they could be redeemed at
other exchange systems, regardless of branch of service.
Today, an AAFES gift card is also accepted at any Navy or
Marine exchange, thus making it a more convenient option.
addition to its convenience, AAFES gift cards also improve
the morale of troops and ensure that they are able to get
exactly what they want while reducing shipping expenses for
military supporters,” said Thurmond.
gift cards, up to $500, can be sent by any American who logs
on to www.aafes.com
or calls 877-770-4438. From there, BX/PX gift cards are sent
to individual service members (designated by the purchaser)
or distributed to “any service member” through the Air
Force Aid Society, American Red Cross, Fisher House
Foundation Inc., Navy-Marine Corps Relief, USO or Soldiers
Family Assistance Center.
Select’ Quality and Price Take Exchange Benefit Further
– As energy prices rise and consumer confidence slides,
budget-conscious military shoppers are maximizing their
exchange benefit as they reach for “private label”
products manufactured under the Exchange Services’
“Exchange Select” brand.
‘Exchange Select’ products save exchange shoppers
anywhere from 20 to approximately 50 percent when compared
to name brand counterparts,” said the Army & Air Force
Exchange Service’s Senior Vice President of Sales Maggie
Burgess. “And savvy shoppers know that this added savings
doesn’t come at the price of reliability; as the
Exchanges’ ‘exclusive label’ merchandise offers
quality that is equal to or better than equivalent national
examples of “Exchange Select” savings available today
Brand Mint Mouthwash 1 liter
“Exchange Select” Mint Mouthwash 1 liter
$1.79 (55% Savings)
Brand Ibuprofen 50 ct
“Exchange Select” Ibuprofen 50 ct
$1.99 (59% Savings)
Brand Hi-Potency Multi-Vitamin 100 + 30 tabs
“Exchange Select” Century Multi Tab 100 + 30 tabs
$4.69 (50% Savings)
and safety of “Exchange Select” products are assured
thanks to a Quality Assurance team that actively visits
suppliers’ plants to verify ‘Good Manufacturing
Practices,’ as set by the Food and Drug Administration and
other governing agencies, are used. In fact, all “Exchange
Select” over-the-counter medicines, such as ibuprofen and
acetaminophen, meet FDA established guidelines, which are
the same for “private label” and national brand
steady demand for affordably priced, quality products by the
military community continues to drive expansion of the
“Exchange Select” brand, available exclusively at Navy,
Marine and Coast Guard Exchanges, Veterans Canteen Service
locations and AAFES BXs and PXs. Last year, the exchanges
introduced 37 new items including vitamins, cough drops and
sunscreen. The entire portfolio now includes 557 unique
items, all priced to deliver substantial savings.
brand quality combined with “private label” pricing
continues to attract military shoppers as “Exchange
Select” sales increased by nearly a million dollars in
2007. As a result, the Exchange Services continue to broaden
their “private label” assortment through line extensions
in existing categories, such as health and beauty care
items, household cleaning and laundry products and even a
single-use cameras, as well as expansion into new programs.
Select” stock assortment additions currently in
development include allergy medicine, nicotine gum,
non-optical brightener detergent and orange furniture
Million in Business Opportunities Garners Diversity
Recognition for AAFES
– For the second year in a row the Army & Air Force
Exchange Service (AAFES) has been recognized by
DiversityBusiness.com as one of America’s Top Government
Organizations for multicultural business opportunities.
annual list is produced by DiversityBusiness.com, the
nations’ leading multicultural B-to-B Internet Web site.
More than 600,000 diversity businesses owners had the
opportunity to participate in an online election to
determine the “Top” agencies. The honor recognizes 20
government agencies and 50 corporations, and is collectively
called the Div50. The business owners based their decisions
on such factors as the volume, consistency and quality of
business opportunities granted. AAFES garnered recognition
due to the fact that it did more than $80 million worth of
business with women-, minority- and Veteran-owned companies
works diligently to ensure a diverse product mix is
represented in our stores,” said AAFES’ Commander Brig.
Gen. Keith L. Thurgood. “Having the right product, at the
right price and at the right time is what our customers
expect, and what they deserve. Tapping into all sources just
makes good business sense.”
AAFES, along with the other winning companies, will be
honored at a special awards ceremony at
DiversityBusiness.com’s 8th Annual Multicultural Business
Conference in Las Vegas in April.
‘Green’ Initiatives Expected to Pay Off for Military
– The Department of Defense’s oldest and largest
retailer, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service,
is embarking on a variety of energy-saving initiatives to
reduce its impact on the environment and strengthen the
exchange benefit military families have come to depend on.
vending machines to gas station canopies, AAFES is
implementing “green” initiatives at exchange facilities
on Army and Air Force installations across the globe.
is a global retailer with more than 3,100 facilities in some
30 countries,” said AAFES’ Energy Program Manager Ann
Scott. “Considering the size and scope of our mission, it
makes sense to evaluate every possible ‘green’ option
available. Fortunately, new opportunities to save energy and
increase earnings are growing every day.”
options are turning into reduced energy consumption in
AAFES’ vending operations as 40 additional ENERGY STAR®
beverage vending machine models became available in 2007.
With older vending machines consuming some 192 kwh per month
compared to 172.5 kwh for ENERGY STAR® versions, AAFES is
focused on ensuring at least 10 percent or more of their
21,000 beverage machines are ENERGY STAR® compliant before
the end of 2008. Successful expansion of ENERGY STAR®
beverage vending machines from 1,664 currently in place at
AAFES to 2,264 is projected to generate annual savings of
more than $42,000 once the 10 percent target is met.
stay cold, less energy is used and AAFES is able to return
the savings to the annual dividend this command annually
provides to the military community,” said AAFES’
Commander Brig. Gen. Keith Thurgood. “It’s smart
business decisions like this that will make it possible for
AAFES to deliver even more in the coming decade than the
$2.4 billion it provided the Armed Forces in the past 10
cool beverages to hot food, AAFES is also partnering with a
number of name-brand franchises to reduce energy consumption
in its fast food offerings. Taco Bell, Burger King and
Subway are just a few of AAFES’ name-brand partners that
are leading the way in inventive “pollution solutions”
such as adjustable HVAC systems that run based on need
versus a constant rate, eco-friendly building designs, LED
menu boards and concept signing, as well as energy efficient
refrigeration and heating methods.
fast food facilities, main exchanges and shoppettes have
accounted for the majority of energy consumption at AAFES.
Shoppettes, essentially the military version of convenience
stores, often have gas pumps that require constant lighting
for drivers to be able to fill up 24/7. The canopies that
cover these pumps can easily consume 6,000 watts of
electricity with standard lighting. Testing of a new
generation of energy efficient fixtures has yielded savings
of up 44 percent.
as an ENERGY STAR® retailer, AAFES began an aggressive
training program in August 2007 to help its main store
associates better assist energy-conscious shoppers. An
on-going ENERGY STAR® awareness campaign is now branching
out beyond appliances and electronics as the AAFES stock
assortment now features a 20 percent mix of Compact
Fluorescent Lighting options that use less energy and have a
longer-rated life than conventional light bulbs.
purchases at AAFES activities have grown steadily in the
past two years, increasing from 8.2 percent of retail
lighting sales in 2006 to 10 percent in 2007. Launched in
February 2008, AAFES’ CFL light bulb awareness
campaign is focused on the prominent display of CFL products
CFL initiative is consistent with the military’s goal to
cut energy costs and protect the environment,” said
AAFES’ Senior Vice President of Sales Maggie Burgess.
“Compact florescent bulbs will go a long way in
meeting these objectives as they use 75 percent less energy
than standard lighting and last up to 10 times
addition to the merchandise inside the store, AAFES
designers and architects from its Real Estate division and
industry partners are pursing initiatives in energy and
environmental design with the US Green Building Council LEED
NC Retail pilot program that focuses on energy and water
reduction efforts to decrease operating costs and earth
friendly materials to positively impact the environment and
incorporating sustainability initiatives for long term
improvements to the environment, energy
consumption reduction and to protect earnings for the Army
and Air Force MWR programs from energy cost increases,”
said AAFES’ Senior Vice President of Real Estate Dan
Metsala. “The Shopping Center new construction projects
being developed for Ft. Polk, Randolph AFB, Ft. Belvoir and
Ft. Bliss will set a new standard for us in energy
efficiency as we go forward”.
four projects are seeking LEED Silver certification.
Construction of the first two AAFES LEED retail pilot
facilities are scheduled to begin at Ft. Polk and Randolph
AFB later this year with grand openings anticipated around
up the environment begins at home. For AAFES facilities
residing on Army and Air Force installations across the
globe, ‘home’ is the military community,” said
Thurgood. “As such, I’m excited about the steps AAFES is
taking to make the ‘homes’ we share with military
Families better places to live, work and, of course, shop
thanks to reduced energy consumption, increased dividends
and a better quality of life.”
pounds (and save money) while supporting American troops
– A recent hike in postal rates has Americans wishing to
support deployed troops feeling light in the wallet. A seven
pound parcel sent first class mail from the U.S. to Iraq now
costs $37 just for shipping and handling, not including the
amount already spent for the contents inside the package.
Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES’)
“Gifts from the Homefront” program reduces mail expenses
and ensures that virtually all funds earmarked for the
troops go to the troops.
in March, 2003 after the Department of Defense gave its
“stamp of approval,” AAFES’ troop support initiative
makes it easy and affordable to support those downrange. For
a flat shipping and handling charge of just $4.95, Americans
can send as much as they want through a lightweight gift
certificate that can be redeemed for anything in the BX/PX.
effort minimizes shipping costs while enabling Soldiers,
Airmen, Sailors or Marines to get exactly what they need,”
said AAFES spokesperson Lt. Col. Dean Thurmond. “Instead
of spending a great deal of money sending a hefty package,
gift certificates that can be redeemed for merchandise
already in the war zone maximizes support for our troops and
reduces expenses for their advocates.”
currently operates 53 facilities in support of Operations
Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. While inventories can vary from
location to location, most facilities carry a full
assortment of health and beauty items, toiletries, snacks
From the Homefront” can be sent to deployed troops by
logging on to www.aafes.org
or calling 877-770-4438. From there, the gift certificates
are sent to individual service members (designated by the
purchaser) or distributed to “any service member”
through the Air Force Aid Society, American Red Cross,
Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, Fisher House,
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Operation Homefront,
Operation Interdependence® or USO. “Gifts From the
Homefront” gift certificates can be redeemed at exchange
facilities worldwide. Recent reports indicate troops
shopping their contingency exchanges are reaching for beauty
items, soft drinks, snacks, Military Exchange Global prepaid
calling cards, magazines, movies and more.
of July 31, approximately 91,000 “Gifts from the
Homefront” gift certificates have been sent since the
Department of Defense approved the exchange support campaign
in March 2003. More than 23,000 of these have been delivered
to service members and their families via AAFES’ 10
and SmartPay® make good cents
– The competitive prices and convenience Army & Air
Force Exchange Service (AAFES) operations offer military
shoppers don’t end at work. In fact, all authorized GSA
SmartPay® Card holders can quickly and easily get the items
their unit or office needs without leaving the installation
or, if making a purchase through the Exchange Online Store,
without even leaving their desks.
shopping in-store, online at www.aafes.com
or through an Exchange Catalog, GSA cardholders who procure
items through BX/PX operations save time as there is no need
to carry, show and explain a state tax exemption letter
because almost everything the exchange carries is already
free of taxation. Purchases made through AAFES activities
also save Department of Defense money as exchange operations
proactively survey and review product assortments to ensure
prices are routinely lower than the competition. Beyond
convenience and cost effectiveness, GSA card transactions
made through AAFES also generate dividends used to support
Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy Morale, Welfare and
is a military command with a dual mission to provide quality
goods and services at competitively low prices and generate
earnings to support MWR programs,” said AAFES’ Chief of
Communications Lt. Col. Dean Thurmond. “This structure
ensures that all unit and office related GSA purchases made
through BX/PX operations not only are a judicious use of
funds, but also a generous contribution that helps support
critical military quality of life efforts.”
of Defense civilians who are not normally entitled to
exchange privileges, but authorized to make organizational
purchases, need only show their SmartPay® Card and a
government ID card to make official purchases. Last year GSA
SmartPay® purchases helped generate more than $200 dollars
for much-needed Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.
These funds are used in support of Youth Services, Armed
Forces Recreation Centers, post functions and other quality
of life initiatives enjoyed by military families on
installations across the globe.
StarSM Card Strengthens Troops’ Return on Investment
–The use of bank-issued cards by troops at their exchanges
costs the military community millions of dollars annually
that could be directed to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)
year alone, bank issued card processing expenses at Army
& Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) facilities jumped
approximately 12 percent, ultimately sapping more than $65
million from the Exchange and, in turn, critical MWR
programs in 2007. Since 2001, AAFES has paid more than $310
million in fees to card issuing banks, resulting in lost
revenues for the military community.
two-thirds of AAFES’ earnings are paid to MWR, while the
other third is returned to the military community in the
form of improvements, such as technology investments or
capital expenditures to enhance the shopping experience,”
said AAFES’ Chief Financial Officer Harold Lavender.
“With 100 percent of AAFES earnings going back to
authorized customers in one way or another, something as
seemingly insignificant as credit card processing fees can
quickly add up to a quality of life issue.”
way military families can help reduce costs and strengthen
their Exchange benefit is to take advantage of the
Exchanges’ exclusive Military StarSM Card. Unlike bank
cards, profits generated from the Military StarSM Card are
shared with military communities through contributions to
the military service's MWR funds. These funds reduce the tax
burden of all U.S. citizens, and are used to fund Youth
Services, Armed Forces Recreation Centers, aquatic centers
post functions and golf courses that are enjoyed by military
families across the globe.
the Military StarSM Card is one of the easiest ways for
troops to directly impact their Exchange and MWR
benefits,” said Lavender. “Reducing these unnecessary
expenses can go a long way in maximizing the dividend AAFES
annually returns to the military community.”
Military StarSM Card is accepted at AAFES, Navy, Marine
Corps and Coast Guard Exchange activities, as well as the
Exchange Catalog and the Exchange Online store at www.aafes.com.
more information on the Military StarSM Card, visit www.aafes.com
and click on the Military StarSM Card icon.
Introduce First-Ever Name Brand Supplement
– Authorized exchange shoppers looking for high quality,
name brand items at great prices need look no further than
the 2007 Name Brand Supplement. Scheduled for release on
Jan. 9, 2007, this first-ever 30-page catalog is filled with
top-brand electronics, sporting goods, giftware, toys and
much more. Another first for the new catalog will be the
inclusion of a promotional code good for a one-time 10
percent savings off an entire order.
breaking new ground in convenience and affordability with
this catalog,” said AAFES Chief Marketing Officer Richard
Sheff. “We’ve shopped for the best brands, keeping style
and savings in mind and are even providing an opportunity to
take an additional 10 percent off the already low prices
military families have come to expect from their Exchange
the most advanced in home audio and video equipment to
top-quality living room furniture and the newest appliances,
the 2007 Name Brand supplement has something for every
member of the military family, including some of the most
popular fragrances (for both him and her), classic watches
and fashionable clogs and sandals.
in this all-services supplement are valid through April 3,
2007, for any authorized exchange customer. Active duty
military members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and
Coast Guard, as well as military retirees, reservists,
National Guardsmen, Department of Defense civilians
stationed overseas, exchange employees and their family
members are all authorized exchange privileges.
can be placed by mail, fax or phone. Toll free orders
can be placed from the United States, Puerto Rico or Guam at
800-527-2345. The Exchange Catalog center is open
around-the-clock, seven days a week. Complimentary
international access calling is also available from several
countries. Those numbers are:
* Calls cannot be placed from phones on base. Use off-base
Quilt Warms Deployed Troops’ Hearts
– As part of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s
ongoing Patriot Connection campaign, a new chapter, nearly a
year in the making, is beginning for quilt squares that
carry messages of support and reminders of home to troops
serving throughout Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom
(photos available on request).
in 2006, associates from AAFES Post and Base Exchanges
(PXs/BXs) began enlisting the support of their local
military communities to create quilt squares highlighting
the images and traditions unique to their installation.
Squares full of unit patches, messages of encouragement and
salutes to the military’s storied past soon began pouring
into AAFES headquarters in Dallas, Texas. After taking
receipt of more than 100 squares, a team of civilian and
military personnel got to work assembling the individual
squares into combined displays that have spent the past 10
months on the road at Army, Air Force and Marine
installations throughout the United States, Pacific and
response was overwhelming,” said AAFES’ Chief Marketing
Officer, Richard Sheff. “In the end, a total of 128 quilt
squares were combined to create two giant, 24 ft. x 18 ft.
panels that bring the military’s rich history to life. The
final products are colorful and exciting displays that
highlight the fact that we all are but a tiny piece of a
large ‘quilt’ which connects us together, if only by a
swinging through Europe and the Pacific, the quilt displays
spent the holiday season at PXs/BXs at Bagram AB in
Afghanistan and Camp Liberty in Iraq. Both panels will stay
in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom through the end of
this month and will then start their tour back to where the
process all began, AAFES HQs in Dallas, Texas. The quilt
squares are scheduled to make various stops en route to
Dallas for last-chance displays at various installations.
Once back in Texas, a permanent home will be determined.
explored sectioning the squares out to various military
hospitals, displaying a portion in AAFES’ Heritage Hall or
even working with the Smithsonian to ensure future
generations can bear witness to the pride our military
exudes today,” said Sheff.
Ptriot Connection campaign is not limited to quilt squares.
In fact, the Patriot Family connection provides family
members, friends of deployed service members and AAFES
associates a chance to record their greetings, words of
support and thanks free of charge. Messages, that can be
recorded 24 hours a day, are forwarded to American Forces
Radio and broadcast to U.S. service men and women, DoD
civilians, and their families serving outside the
continental United States. Anyone can record a message by
calling 1-800-713-1302. Another initiative, dubbed “We All
Have a Hand in Securing Our Freedom,” is a partnership
with military communities to create commemorative banners
composed of handprints that depict the same theme. These
banners are also sent to exchanges worldwide and displayed
in AAFES facilities to include locations in Operations
Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
information concerning all of AAFES’ Patriot Connection
efforts is available online at http://www.aafes.com/Patriot_Family/home.asp.
in War Zone March to Beat of a Different Drummer
– Since the days of the Revolutionary War when militias
marched to fifes and drums, music has played a historical
and integral role on the battlefield. The Civil War, which
used brass bands to entertain Soldiers, gave way to the tape
recorders of the ‘60s blasting the rock and folk sounds of
the Rolling Stones and Joan Baez. Today’s deployed troops,
who take their music with them, have made rhythm and blues,
rap and country the soundtrack of their time in Operations
Enduring and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF).
in Iraq and Afghanistan, who purchased approximately 1.7
million CDs at 54 Army & Air Force Exchange Service
(AAFES) post and base exchanges scattered throughout the
Middle East, display far different musical tastes than those
at home. For example, compared to Nielsen Media Research’s
2006 top sellers, only one title, Mary J. Blige’s “The
Breakthrough,” made deployed Soldier, Airmen, Sailor and
Marine’s top 10.
two of the top-selling titles were country, including Tim
McGraw’s “Greatest Hits” topping the charts at number
one, rap, along with rhythm and blues, accounted for the two
most popular formats. Six of the AAFES OEF/OIF top 10
featured rap and R&B artists, including Ne-Yo at number
two and T.I. at number four.
of AAFES’ mission has always been to ensure that our
troops have access to the latest entertainment, regardless
of where they are called to serve,” said AAFES Contingency
Planning Chief Lt. Col. Steven Dean. “With new releases
flown in every week to PXs and BXs half way around the
world, today’s deployed warriors have access to new music
at virtually the same time as their friends back home, yet
judging by sales trends, their tastes are quite unique.”
most popular CDs, based on service members’ shopping
habits at AAFES contingency PX/BXs, in 2006 included:
In My Own
Mary J. Blige
White Trash with Money 5,749
American can send a selection from the AAFES OEF/OIF top ten
as well as thousands of other music titles to a deployed
Soldier, Airmen, Sailor or Marine by sending an AAFES
“Gift from the Homefront.” Available through www.aafes.org
or toll free at 877-770-4438, these lightweight and flexible
gift certificates can be redeemed for almost any product
stocked at thousands of exchange facilities across the
globe. “Gifts from the Homefront” may be addressed to
individual service members (designated by the purchaser) or
sent to the attention of "any service member"
through the Air Force Aid Society, American Red Cross,
Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, Fisher House,
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Operation Homefront,
Operation Interdependence®, Soldier & Family Assistance
Center, USA Cares or USO.
Hail AAFES’ Program to Help Injured Troops
– When military service members are injured in Operations
Enduring or Iraqi Freedom, that trauma is made all the more
difficult by an arduous transition process from the
battlefield. Troops are often flown immediately to the
with little more than the clothes on their backs and
identification around their necks. From there, wounded
troops recuperate at
medical centers and begin reintegration into civilian life.
Gardiner understands the challenges injured troops evacuated
from a war zone face first hand. His son, Sgt. Ryan
Gardiner, was medically evacuated from
after sustaining injuries in the global war on terrorism.
Sgt. Gardiner reached the hospital in
, he had nothing to his name until an Army and Air Force
Exchange Service personal shopper arrived on the scene.
Armed with underwear, socks and a change of clothes, the
civilian associate brought more than products, he delivered
comfort to a Soldier in need.
someone else cares about my son’s needs as much as his mom
and dad do, it brings a sense of belonging to a special
family,” said Gardiner.
associates Shane Warren and Charlotte Stobie are personal
shoppers who visit with troops, make a list, then go to the
Exchange and select the items. They return to the
hospital and hand deliver items to injured troops.
is an honor to help these young men,”
said. “I was once wounded and brought to Landstuhl so I
know what it means to have a friendly face at a time when
you are alone and frightened. You feel the hurt when they
. Our job is to make them feel better. We are here for the
people who fight to protect us.”
patients come from all services. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen
and Marines are assisted by AAFES staff. More than 6,000
injured troops have been helped by the AAFES personal
shopper program in the last 10 months alone.
1319 of Public Law 1559 allows AAFES to allocate $250
towards the purchase of civilian clothing to qualifying
service members who arrive at several military hospitals. To
qualify for the allotment, service members must be medically
evacuated from Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom or
Global Prepaid Phone Cards Keep Families Connected
– Petty Officer 2nd Class Miller Shield and his family got
lucky this year. His R&R occurred in late November, just
in time for Thanksgiving. “We had a great time,” said
his mother Deborah Carmon-Coleman. Just before he boarded a
plane back to the
earlier this month, Carmon-Coleman gave her son two Military
Exchange Prepaid Phone cards for him to call home.
was great, but I knew Christmas would be tough,” said
Carmon-Coleman. “With both my son and my daughter-in-law
deployed, we needed the most cost effective way for us to
stay in touch.”
an employee of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service,
Petty Officer 2nd Class Shield’s mother is
“authorized” to shop in the same military exchanges he
shops. The “PX/BX” is where Carmon-Coleman purchased the
phone cards that will provide her son with more than four
hours of phone calls between
the Department of Defense authorized exchanges to sell
Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards to
“non-authorized” exchange customers in April 2004,
mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins,
grandparents and neighbors were often forced to purchase
phone cards designed for calls within the “Continental
United States” because family members who do not work for
the military (like Carmon-Coleman) or aren’t married to an
active-duty or retired military member are considered
“non-dependent” family members that do not qualify as
“authorized” exchange customers.
any American can “Help Our Troops Call Home” by sending
Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards to deployed
service members through www.aafes.org
phone cards deliver an instant morale boost with up to four
and a half hours of talk time for calls placed from any
overseas military installation worldwide to include 70 AAFES
call centers in
just worry about parents who are unaware of their ability to
purchase these cards,” said Carmon-Coleman. “Most phone
cards are designed for calls between
and Philadelphia, not
. Fortunately, when it comes to sending military exchange
phone cards we are now all considered ‘authorized.’”
on a “global platform” for the specific needs of
deployed troops, Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone
cards’ minutes never expire and no additional charges or
connection fees are ever added to rates as low as .19 cents
a minute to call home from Operations Iraqi and Enduring
and her son won’t be the only ones on the phone before the
New Year. In fact, troops deployed to Operations Iraqi and
Enduring Freedom logged more than fifteen million minutes in
calls last December. This year AAFES estimates troops in
contingency locations will spend more than 20 million
minutes on the phone in December alone.
Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards purchased through www.aafes.org
or 800-527-2345 can be sent to individual Soldiers, Airmen,
Sailors or Marines (designated by the purchaser) or
distributed to “any service member” through the American
Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House, USO,
Coalition to Salute
’s Heroes, Operation Homefront or Operation
Voluntarily Deploying to Middle East in Support of Deployed
– While most Americans plan to spend the next few weeks
eating, shopping and generally having a great time with
friends and family, many Department of Defense civilians
will be leaving their homes and families for 6- to-12 month
voluntary deployments to support Army & Air Force
Exchange Service (AAFES) Post and Base Exchanges (PXs and
BXs) throughout Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
for more than 25 years, Graphic Designers Gloria Michael and
Kelly Northcutt have talked about deploying to live and work
with the troops. With Michael getting closer to retirement,
the two friends who live only six houses away from each
other in Red Oak, Tex., decided now was the time to trek
more than 7,000 miles to support troops half a world away.
it will be her first time to travel outside the United
States, Michael is understandably anxious. “I’m a bit
nervous because I haven’t traveled a whole lot, but it is
important that I take my support to our Soldiers, Airmen,
Sailors and Marines on the front lines before I retire.”
an itinerary that calls for the two “battle buddies” to
depart for the Middle East on Dec. 17, both
Michael and Northcutt are coming to terms with the fact that
this upcoming holiday season will be their first away from
spouses, children and grandchildren.
made the most out of Thanksgiving and loaded up on holiday
cheer,” said Northcutt. “Hopefully, we can take some of
that warmth and caring we shared to our troops in Iraq or
Northcutt and Michael prepare for their first deployment,
some civilians, like Kadena AB Burger King Manager Marjorie
Granvle, will be redeploying this month. A 13-year AAFES
associate, Granvle’s last deployment to Bosnia in 2000 was
so rewarding that she signed up to spend the first half of
2007 with troops in the desert.
wife and mother of two who has served the Armed Forces from
Edwards AFB, Calif. to her current position in Okinawa,
Granvle says her family is supportive of her decision to
redeploy. “They are sad to see me leave, but with the
faith, love and support that we share in our hearts, we will
be together for the holidays. This is my opportunity to
support the troops and my country.”
there are more than 450 volunteer AAFES associates like
Granvle, Michael and Northcutt deployed in support of
Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. To date, 1,800 AAFES
civilians have deployed to provide comfort items and
necessities in combat and contingency locations. Service
members depend on the PX/BX facilities these associates
support for day-to-day health and comfort items such as
soap, shampoo, toothpaste, snacks, beverages and
merchandise assortment in the deployed environments
typically includes basic health and hygiene items and
snacks. Over time, that assortment is expanded to other
items needed and requested by troops downrange. Today, AAFES
stocks electronics, magazines, DVDs and even small
appliances at its 58 PX/BX locations scattered throughout
the contingency theater.
Lets Customers ‘TAKE IT HOME TODAY!’
– The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is
expanding its “TAKE IT HOME TODAY!” initiative, which
puts items of necessity and convenience immediately into the
hands of military families the world over. With “TAKE IT
HOME TODAY!,” service members can now immediately enjoy
furniture, major appliances, carpeting, mattresses and box
springs, as well as select electronics.
new plan, which was tested at select AAFES exchanges in the
United States and overseas last year, includes benefits such
as instant credit upon approval, no up front fees or down
payment, a low interest rate and low monthly payments.
tests made it clear that shoppers were excited about the
opportunity to make a furniture, appliance or other large
purchase and take the product home that very same day,”
said AAFES Exchange Credit Program Business Analyst
Colleen Youngblood. “With low interest rates and instant
approval, military shoppers can now enjoy their purchase
a $299 minimum purchase, major appliances, 27 inch and
larger TVs, carpeting, riding lawn mowers, large exercise
equipment and spas may be purchased through the “TAKE IT
HOME TODAY!” program. Accessories, including end tables,
may also apply when they are purchased with a qualifying
program is perfectly targeted to meet the needs of today’s
highly mobile military community, especially those members
just starting military service or their families,” said
AAFES’ Pacific Region Commander Col. Ann Borgmann. “Now
members can immediately get the furnishings and appliances
needed without incurring a large debt.”
IT HOME TODAY!” is now available at all AAFES facilities
that stock qualifying merchandise. Authorized exchange
customers can contact their local exchange’s Store or
General Manager for additional details. Specific store-level
contact information is available online at www.aafes.com
under the BX/PX Store Locator link.
Authorized to Shop AAFES?
- From Ft. Bragg to Baghdad, military installations the
world over are home to more than 3,000 Army & Air Force
Exchange Service (AAFES) food, entertainment and retail
options. From contractors to tourists to guests, Army posts
and Air Force bases host a variety of visitors who often
ask, “Who’s authorized to shop these facilities?”
probably the most common question I receive,” said
AAFES’ Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Bryan
Eaton. “It stands to reason that visitors want to take
advantage of the tax relief and competitive prices they’ve
heard so much about, but AAFES doesn’t decide who is or
service authorization actually begins with the House Armed
Services Committee and ultimately ends with the installation
commander. The guidelines, as prescribed by Army Regulation
60-20 and Air Force Joint Instruction 34-210, require proper
identification of authorized customers including uniformed
personnel and members of the Reserve Components and family
members, applicable Department of Defense (DoD) civilians,
exchange associates and retirees who possess a basic
exchange purchase privilege authorization card. Some
government civilians also enjoy exchange shopping privileges
when they are assigned or TDY overseas; or “TDY and
residing” in government quarters on posts/bases in the
access of authorized customers’ guests is regulated by
installation commanders who are empowered by service
regulations to determine the guest policy for the main
exchange at their respective base/post.
authorizations governing who can buy merchandise and
services can vary from location to location, the doors to
AAFES’ 2,109 food
facilities, including 1,806 name and signature
brand outlets, are open to virtually anyone. In fact, DoD
policy allows all federal government employees and even
installation visitors to dine at AAFES restaurants
as long as their orders are consumed on the
who believes they may qualify for exchange benefits
including access to the main exchange should contact their
local AAFES manager for additional guidance as well as
information regarding possible exceptions at specific PX/BX
locations. Store-level contact information is available
online at www.aafes.com
under the BX/PX “Store Locator” link.
Serving’ Delivers Exclusive Savings to Military Retirees
DALLAS – A slew of special
offers and coupons, as well as a couple of sweepstakes
opportunities, are just a few of the exclusive promotions
military retirees will find in the new “Still Serving”
booklet, scheduled to hit mailboxes in September. As part of
its annual three-day salute to “those who served,” the
Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) will begin
mailing more than one million of the packets during the
third week of August.
At 42 percent,
retirees represent the largest portion of the exchanges’
11.7 million authorized customers. As such, the booklet,
chock-full of exclusive offers, is a proactive effort to
retain exchange shoppers whose business continues to
directly impact active duty families’ day-to-day lives.
round retiree patronage, AAFES wouldn’t have been able to
return an average FY ’05 per capita dividend of $271 for
every Soldier and Airman, in addition to the dividends paid
to the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Vice President of
Direct Marketing Marie Clift. “Whether or not they choose
to shop the exchange goes beyond dollars and cents; it is a
quality of life issue for the entire military community.
Reminding retirees that we’re here to serve them is
critical in allowing AAFES to fulfill its dual mission of
providing quality goods and services at competitively low
prices and generating earnings to support Morale, Welfare
and Recreation programs.”
on gas, coffee, jewelry, electronics, footwear, eyewear,
flowers, hardware, clothing…even soda, competitive low
pricing is exactly what the 2006 booklet delivers. “Still
Serving” savings aren’t limited to local “brick and
mortar” exchanges. In fact, Exchange Online Store and
catalog offers have been incorporated into two of the
booklet’s 12 pages. In addition to money saving
opportunities, veterans will also find details on how to
enter two “Still Serving” Sweepstakes, with prizes that
include a $500 www.aafes.com
shopping spree, a treadmill valued at $589 and a $499 music
“All of our
associates love this time of year,” said Clift. “It’s
an awesome chance to not only recognize retirees for their
past contributions to our country, but also salute them for
their continued tangible support of the military
“Still Serving” booklet offers year round savings, PXs
and BXs throughout CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and
Guam, as well as participating European and Pacific
locations, will host “Still Serving” celebrations with
unique specials and events from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
Throughout the weekend, AAFES’ main stores will host
drawings, free refreshments and product samples, vendor
demonstrations, door prizes, shopping-cart bingo, makeovers
and fashion shows.
exchange customers can learn more about activities
planned for the weekend of Sept. 29 at their specific
exchange by calling their local store manager. Contact
information can be found online at aafes.com
by clicking on the “store locator” link.
Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is a joint
command of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and is directed
by a Board of Directors who is responsible to the Secretaries
of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of
Staff. AAFES has the dual mission of providing authorized
patrons with articles of merchandise and services and of
generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental
source of funding for military Morale, Welfare and Recreation
(MWR) programs. To find out more about AAFES' history and
mission, please visit our Web site at <http://www.aafes.com/pa/default.asp>.
Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) worked with its
vendor partner, AT&T, to bring lower rates to
our service men and women, just in time
for the holiday
season," said Mary
Beth Morse, NEXCOM telecommunication
service operations specialist. "We hope these new
rates will allow more families to talk
to their loved ones who are away from home or
would just like to have better rates for their long distance
AT&T Prepaid Phone Cards,
available at any Navy Exchange worldwide in 300,
150 and 50 units, have been lowered to $.05 - $.09
per minute. "In keeping with the prepaid phone card
industry standard, the more minutes you buy, the better the
rate becomes," said Morse.
Long distance rates for
overseas calling have also been lowered by as much as 50
percent for some countries. To call the United States, the
costs from various overseas locations using a 300,
150 or 50 AT&T Prepaid Phone Card are as low as:
Bahrain: $0.29 per minute; Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland,
Italy and Vatican City, Japan, Singapore, Spain and
United Kingdom: $0.15; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: $0.81;
Philippines: $0.44; and United Arab Emeritus: $0.22.
NEXCOM is also
introducing a new 800 minute AT&T Prepaid Phone Card
for $0.05 per minute for calls made within the
United States. "Just like our Liberty
Phone Card, this new card has no
hidden charges, does not expire and can
be recharged at any time," said Morse.
"With its lower
rates in the United States and higher
international rates than the 50,150 and 300
minute cards, the new 800 minute will only be sold in
the United States."
The new cards will be sold in Navy
Exchanges beginning on November 24.
Navy Ship's Servicemen Now Have Touch Access for Ship
Navy Ship's Servicemen (SH)
now have one place they can go to access all ship
store bulletins, manuals and catalogs needed to do
their jobs. The Navy Exchange Service
Command's (NEXCOM) Ship's Store Program has
launched a web-site, www.navy-shipstores.com
or www.navy-nex.com, to
make one-touch supply easier for ashore and afloat SHs.
working towards a paperless working environment for the
past several years," said Charles
Vaughan, director of the Ship's Store Program.
"Placing all this information on our website was
just a natural evolution of that process. I wanted
the Ship's Store Program to be in the vanguard in
providing 'world class' service
to our Ship's Servicemen wherever they are afloat or
Now available on
the website are all parts
manuals, ship store bulletins and training
manuals for the SH rate. There's also a section
describing NEXCOM's Fleet Assistance
Teams and the services they offer. The site also allows
the user to contact the Ship's Store Program with any
questions or comments on improving the site.
"We are very excited
about this site," said Vaughan. "It's going to
become a very important resource for the SH
community. It's a win-win for everyone.
We cut down on the amount of paper we use
and the amount SHs have to file. On the other side, SHs
can access this site from anywhere at
NEXCOM has 185 ship stores and 4 ship
store ashore sites worldwide.