Honoring Our Youngest Heroes during Month of the Military Child

 

Throughout April, the Exchange salutes military brats—our Nation’s youngest heroes—with events and giveaways that are exciting for the kids and parents, but store associates, too.

In the truest sense of Family Serving Family during April, designated as the Month of the Military Child, Exchange associates around the world can make military kids feel special for the honor, sacrifice and fearlessness they endure while one of their parents—and sometimes both—are serving the Nation.

Bringing families together

Check out the Month of the Military Child page on ShopMyExchange.com and this message from Store Operations for everything that’s happening in Exchange stores. Send photos of your events to exchangepost@aafes.com for display in a special Exchange Post photo album.

“I personally feel that the store events we have planned for April are really important,” said Alexandra Martin, a toy buyer at HQ in Dallas. “The events are not only fun, but they bring families together. These kids lose their parents for upwards of a year or more, so think of all the school plays, awards ceremonies, birthdays and other events that these kids wish their moms or dads could attend.”

Make events as fun as possible

LUKE AFB, Ariz. – A child gets her face painted at a Month of the Military Child event.

Martin, who lived on various military bases in Germany for 13 years and has family ties to the Air Force, said during events at the Exchanges, store associates should always keep in mind the sacrifices that military brats endure.

“Make the events as fun as possible because these kids experience hardship, heartache and added responsibilities over civilian children,” she said. “Our Exchange is here to serve these customers and not to just provide service and merchandise at affordable prices, but to offer a place where these families can have fun together and make memories.”

Through Month of the Military child in-store events, associates can cement lasting relationships with military children, many of whom will grow up to follow in their parents’ footsteps and join the armed forces and become lifelong Exchange customers.

Tips for in-store events

  • Provide information about the special events on the sales floor or during checkout.
  • Be creative. Include MWR, security forces, installation firefighters and other groups. Face-painting for kids always a sure-fire way to make an event exciting and memorable.
  • Wear Month of the Military Child buttons, which were provided to all Exchanges.

 

Send your photos of your Month of the Military Child events to exchangepost@aafes.com to be included in the special Exchange Flickr album!

 

What’s ahead

There’s lots going on in our stores to honor our littlest heroes, including:

April 7 – Free Month of the Military Child patch giveaway at select main stores. Stripes Alterations $5 coupons will allow kids to have the patches sewn on personal items.

April 18 – Participating Exchange restaurants will Purple Up for Military Kids, offering free side items, fountain drinks or desserts for kids wearing purple.

In-store family-friendly events let kids explore with Legos, Play-Doh, Magformers and Nerf.

 

Online, too!

Online sweepstakes all month long.

The Exchange, in partnership with vendors including Ashley, Habsro, Coca-Cola and others, is giving away nearly $50,000 in prizes via sweepstakes throughout April. The Exchange Credit Program is partnering with the Defense Commissary Agency to give away $30,000 in gift cards to shoppers Shoppers can find details at ShopMyExchange.com/MOMC.

Exchange associates will feel that they’ve accomplished something special by making military brats feel special throughout April.

“The resiliency of military children makes it possible for Soldiers and Airmen to remain focused on their mission,” said Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “These kids are a special part of the military family—they are serving, too.”

See more Month of the Military Child photos from the stores in a special Exchange Facebook album.

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