HANSCOM AFB, Mass. – The Veterans online shopping benefit has really paid off for Iraq War Veteran Neal Daringer—and his $25,000 prize proves it.
Daringer, who served for eight years with the Iowa National Guard, took home on March 16 a $25,000 custom-made Knucklehead chopper, the grand prize in the Exchange’s Pabst Blue Ribbon Sweepstakes. Daringer’s name was randomly selected from entries of 22,000 active-duty, dependent, retired or Veteran military shoppers who entered the worldwide sweepstakes at ShopMyExchange.com.
This past Veterans Day, he was one of 18 million honorably discharged Veterans welcomed home to their military family with a lifelong online military exchange shopping benefit. Without the benefit, Daringer would be ineligible to go to Exchange’s website, enter the sweepstakes and win the chopper.
Daringer is among the first Veterans to take home a prize from the Exchange since the online benefit launched.
“It had been 10 years since I’d gone to an Exchange, and I thought it was great that I had a chance to shop tax-free with them again through their website,” said Daringer, who lives in Boston, about 21 miles from Hanscom AFB’s brick-and-mortar Exchange. “It never even occurred to me that I could actually win one of their sweepstakes.”
At the presentation, Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, (far right, in picture), the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor, joined the 66th Air Base Group’s Commander Col. Roman Hund and Chief Master Sgt. Henry Hayes to congratulate Daringer and hand over the keys to the motorcycle.
Daringer joined the Iowa Air National Guard in 2000. In addition to his 2006 deployment to Iraq, he served in Egypt in 2003 during a peacekeeping mission.
Daringer said he is particularly pleased that sales from the online shopping benefit help support’s Quality-of-Life programs, including military uniforms at cost; school lunches below cost for Warfighters’ children overseas; Child Development Centers; Youth Programs; Fitness Centers; and career opportunities for spouses, Veterans and Wounded Warriors.
“I really value the ability to give back to those who are still serving,” he said. “There are people who don’t get to home for the holidays, and many of those programs are there for situations just like that. I really hope more people take advantage of this benefit, at least to help in that sense.”