Steve Smith

125 Years of Family Serving Family – Santiago Garcia, director, IT

By Steve Smith / July 21, 2020 /

One in a series honoring the Exchange’s 125 years of family serving family Santiago Garcia’s family roots at the Exchange and in the military run deep. Nine members of Garcia’s family—his father, mother, an uncle, cousins, great-uncles, great-aunts—have worked or are working for the Exchange. “With our core value family serving family, I believe it…

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The Exchange at 125: Exchanges of Today Aren’t the Ones of Yesteryear

By Steve Smith / July 20, 2020 /

Throughout the Exchange’s history, main stores—post exchanges, base exchanges, PXs, BXs, whatever the troops called them—have changed from rudimentary tents and not-so-well-lit rooms to the most modern shopping malls that rival those in the private sector. Here is a sampling of what today’s main stores looked like years ago. Find more in the “PXs of…

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The Exchange at 125: Ensuring a Sanitized Shopping Environment During COVID-19 Pandemic

By Steve Smith / July 20, 2020 /

Never before in modern history have Exchange associates faced anything as ominous as the COVID-19 virus, but they remained committed to the well-being of shoppers and themselves. Beginning in March, they began wearing required facemasks. Headquarters associates began working from home. Customer service and sales points were disinfected regularly, while clear shields were installed at…

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125 Years of Family Serving Family – Wendy Six, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph

By Steve Smith / July 20, 2020 /

One in a series honoring the Exchange’s 125 years of family serving family Family serving family rings true for Wendy Six every time retired military shoppers at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph said they remember her when she was a child or how she helped them at a far-off Exchange. “Our core value, family serving family…

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The Exchange at 125: The Battle of Brisbane

By Steve Smith / July 17, 2020 /

On April 5, 1942, the first PX in Australia opened in Brisbane as hundreds of American Soldiers arrived during World War II. Tensions between Australian and American Soldiers began simmering almost immediately because the Americans made more money and wore better uniforms. Tensions boiled over on Nov. 26-27 with the Battle of Brisbane. The face-off…

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The Exchange at 125: Our First ‘Store’ in Afghanistan Was a Tent

By Steve Smith / July 16, 2020 /

On Feb. 9, 2002, at Afghanistan’s Kandahar AB, associates Ralph Henderson, Billy Hullender and Larry Reimann opened the Exchange’s first store in that country: a hastily constructed tent. They welcomed a seemingly endless line of American Warfighters seeking personal hygiene items, snacks, drinks and anything that would remind them of home. By the time the…

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The Exchange at 125: The Exchange Welcomed Home 4.1 Million Americans to their Exchange

By Steve Smith / July 16, 2020 /

The Exchange welcomed home disabled Veterans, Purple Heart recipients and certain caregivers—4.1 million Americans— with in-store shopping privileges Jan. 1, 2020. Privileges expanded to all Veterans with service-connected disabilities; Purple Heart recipients; former prisoners of war; and certain caregivers. The extended privileges keep Veterans connected to military communities. Before the expansion, only Veterans with 100%…

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The Exchange at 125: Wow, Our Gas Stations Have Really Changed!

By Steve Smith / July 15, 2020 /

Almost as soon as the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in the early 20th century, exchanges have provided fuel, repairs and other vehicle services. In 2019, military motorists filled up their vehicles with 438 million gallons of fuel at our Express convenience stores and got repair services at 82 name-brand concessionaires from…

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125 Years of Family Serving Family – Sean Applegate

By Steve Smith / July 15, 2020 /

“I am honored to have my oldest daughter raise her hand to serve. I am family serving family.”

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The Exchange at 125: Postcards and Matchbooks Told the Exchange Story

By Steve Smith / July 14, 2020 /

Local exchanges appeared on postcards and matchbook covers, starting in the early 20th century and gaining in popularity during World War II. They featured pictures, including those of long-forgotten PXs from World War II and earlier versions of today’s Exchanges.

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