Exchange Retail Business Manager Sean Childers received recently a DoD Civilian Achievement Award for Public Service from Area Support Group—Afghanistan for serving America’s Warfighters for nearly 24 months in the country with everything from basic necessities to first-run movies.
Childers, who received the prestigious accolade from Lt. Col. Gerald Law with Area Support Group–Afghanistan, redeployed Feb. 9 to Baumholder, Germany, to manage the Express store.
“No matter the job, my goal was to make life better for service members throughout Afghanistan,” said Childers, who has worked for the Exchange for five years. “The Exchange motto is ‘We Go Where You Go,’ and deploying with the troops is at the core of our mission. It has been such an honor to serve those who serve throughout Afghanistan.”
Family serving family
Childers said the time he spent in Afghanistan from March 2017 to February was important to his family.
In the truest sense of the Exchange core value, “Family Serving Family,” his father, Sgt. 1st Class William Childers served with the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War; Sean Childers supported the 101st Airborne Division while in Afghanistan.
Childers brought necessities to troops in austere forward operating bases, helped open a mobile field Exchange at Camp Shorab and expanded stock assortments at Bagram Airfield and Kandahar Airfield.
And, he went beyond the basics.
At tip of the spear: special events, concerts, blockbuster movies
Childers and the Exchange worked with Disney to bring advanced screenings of blockbuster movies to the Warfighters and coordinated with Morale, Welfare and Recreation to host events and concerts.
“No matter the job, my goal was to make life better for service members throughout Afghanistan.”
“The Exchange truly believes in ‘one team, one fight,’ especially when serving alongside troops at the tip of the spear,” he said.
In March 2017, Childers deployed to Afghanistan as store manager at Bagram AB and was promoted the next year to retail business manager for the entire country.
John Burk, the Europe/Southwest Region vice president for contingency, called Childers’ service to the Warfighters’ “immeasurable.”
“His immediate efforts remind everyone about the Exchange’s core mission of serving troops at the tip of the spear,” Burk said. “When troops deploy, they are told to expect an MFE/TFE that will serve their needs for that ‘taste of home.’
“However, Sean took this expectation to the next level to provide the deployed service members with fond memories during what are normally mundane and arduous experiences. Sean’s efforts down range will cause them to remember why they should choose the Exchange first when they get back home.”