More Than 40 Fort Campbell Families Have Exchange Layaways Paid in Full at Surprise Event

FORT CAMPBELL – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service made the holidays a bit merrier for Fort Campbell families with help from the nonprofit Pay Away the Layaway.

The families received the good news—more than $7,000 in layaways were paid in full—during a live broadcast of “Good Morning America” on Dec. 21 from the Fort Campbell Exchange.

“Every family here today that has something on layaway has had their layaway paid off,” said “Good Morning America” meteorologist Rob Marciano in announcing the surprise.

Families thought they were attending only a customer appreciation event. Once the surprise was revealed, their reaction was seen by a national TV audience.

“All our layaway gifts are for our grandchildren,” said Ellen Wooster, whose husband retired from the Army at Fort Campbell. “Christmas is really about the kids, so this means a lot to us.”

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted advisor, led a team of Santa’s helpers pushing carts with the giftwrapped layaways.

“The Exchange is excited to be able to bring this opportunity to Warfighters and their families at Fort Campbell,” Reyes said. “Collaborating with Pay Away the Layaway allows us to spread holiday cheer and lift the financial burden for the best customers in the world.”

Before the event, “Good Morning America” interviewed some of the lucky families—without letting them know about the layaway surprise. Sgt. 1st Class Damion Mays told the crew he appreciates the time he gets to spend with his family this holiday season.

“I have six kids, and it’s difficult to get them everything they want,” Mays said. “But we try to find out what they want the most, and at least get them that.”

The Exchange has worked with Pay Away the Layaway for the last two holiday seasons. Besides Fort Campbell, the Exchange hosted surprise events at Forts Bliss, Polk, Carson and Bragg; Joint Base Langley-Eustis; Andersen Air Force Base, Guam; and Ramstein Air Base.

Pay Away the Layaway is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raises money online to pay off layaway balances. The mission of the organization is to inspire hope and spread kindness.

Facebook-Friendly Version: The Army & Air Force Exchange Service made the holidays a bit merrier for more than 40 Fort Campbell families with help from the nonprofit Pay Away the Layaway. The families received the good news—more than $7,000 in layaways were paid in full—during a live broadcast of “Good Morning America” on Dec. 21 from the Fort Campbell Exchange. Read more: https://wp.me/p9Q7PG-QM.

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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 61st-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.4 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Alexandra Pirkle, 214-312-2143 or pirkleac@aafes.com.

Follow the Exchange:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange

Instagram: @shopmyexchange

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