More than 500 National Guard Soldiers and Reservists deployed to an isolated, austere part of Guatemala received a big morale boost as the Exchange opened a mobile field exchange (MFE) in the Central American country earlier this month.
Two Exchange associates from Honduras’ Soto Cano AB, two from the organization’s headquarters in Dallas and another from JB Charleston, S.C., arrived in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, on May 5. Just two days later, the MFE opened and was packed with customers throughout the day.
“We’ve been planning for more than a year to provide support for this exercise,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “This is yet another example of the Exchange living its ‘we go where you go’ motto and underscores our dedication to supporting National Guard Soldiers and Reservists.”
Tastes of home ‘just steps away’
American service members are in Guatemala for Beyond the Horizon, a training exercise to build schools, renovate buildings and conduct medical readiness training. Before the MFE arrived, food choices were mainly limited to meals ready to eat. The opening of the 53-foot trailer stocked with toiletries, snacks and drinks was a welcomed taste of home. The Exchange MFE will remain in Guatemala until the completion of the exercise on July 27.
“When the MFE shows up wherever Soldiers go around the world, it means we can get necessities and small comfort items with little hassle,” said Maj. Christopher Lauff, Executive Officer, TF Rise – Beyond the Horizon 19. “A cold drink, small snack or toothpaste are just steps away and it is appreciated.”
In the Exchange History Flickr Album, see and read about how the Exchange has served troops since World War II with its mobile exchanges. Some pictures may surprise you!