Archive for December, 2011

Captain America delivers patriotic power to Exchange stores worldwide

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: SSG Mark Matthews
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-069
RELEASE DATE: December 28, 2011

Captain America delivers patriotic power to Exchange stores worldwide

DALLAS – In 1941, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created a symbol of the American spirit which instilled both patriotism and pride in the Military and American citizens. He fought alongside troops in the trenches, and they called him Captain America.  

Marvel Comics – through their Marvel Customs Solutions division – and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service are teaming up once again to publish an all-new, 22-page story starring Captain America: The First Avenger.

The 12th installment of the free comic book, written by William Harms, drawn by Michael Avon Oeming and colored by Nick Filardi, is currently available at Exchange stores worldwide. 

“Everyone at Marvel Entertainment is so appreciative of all that the military does to ensure our freedom. It was an honor to work with the top talents that brought this thrilling Captain America adventure to life in the mighty Marvel manner,” said Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann.

The book, which features a cover by Butch Guice and Bettie Breitweiser, tells the tale of a young recruit struggling through boot camp and how he beats the odds with a little help from Captain America.

“In this issue, we see Cap dig deep to persevere against great odds,” said Rosemann. “That story in turn inspires a Soldier to push past boundaries he thought he couldn’t overcome and achieve success.”

 -30-

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact SSG Mark Matthews, 214-312-4273 or matthewsmb@aafes.com.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.  For more information visit www.marvel.com 

Dream Machine kiosks reward recycling

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Neidinger
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-068
RELEASE DATE: December 23, 2011

DALLAS – Dreams of a greener tomorrow can become a reality today with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s introduction of 200 new recycling kiosks on military installations around the United States.

The Dream Machine computerized kiosks recycle empty drink cans and plastic bottles into points users can redeem for select merchandise and discounts or even donate to charity.

Recycling at the kiosk is as easy as touching the screen, scanning a card and depositing an item. Recyclers receive a printed receipt and can go online to view point totals and reward options.

Each recycled item is worth five points and rewards, including tickets to local sporting events, travel deals and contributions to Keep America Beautiful, the Humane Society or Student Conservation Association, are available for as little as 100 points. Rewards range from dining, lodging and entertainment discounts for 100 points to a personal computer for 450,000 points.

“Participating in Dream Machine recycling is a win-win for Exchange shoppers,” said Exchange Chief of Staff, Col. Thomas Ockenfels. “Recyclers get to contribute to a greener world. And signing in at the kiosks allows users to collect points and rewards for each container.”

Dream Machine kiosks represent an Exchange partnership with PepsiCo and Waste Management, Inc. Besides the kiosks on continental U.S. military installations, there are approximately 3,000 Dream Machines throughout the U.S. overall. The program aims to increase recycling and help the environment, with the overall objective of increasing the U.S. beverage container recycle rate to 50 percent by 2018.

Dream Machine recycling also supports a program called Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities. EBV is a national program offered through seven leading business schools to aid post-911 veterans in starting small businesses.

Turn your dreams of a greener future into reality today by recycling at the “Dream Machines.” To learn more, log onto www.shopmyexchange.com/DreamMachine.

–30 –

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

###

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Lisa Neidinger, 214-312-4168 or neidingerlj@aafes.com.

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner – MILITARY STAR® Cardholders Save When Dining Out

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-067
RELEASE DATE: December 20, 2011

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is taking a bite out of the price of dining as shoppers using their MILITARY STAR® Card at participating Exchange restaurants will now receive 10 percent off their entire purchase.

“Whether it’s a Whopper at Burger King, a foot-long sandwich at Subway or any other selection at an Exchange restaurant, diners who use a MILITARY STAR® Card can take 10 percent off the bill” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “This discount is effective at our more than 1,700 restaurants worldwide.”

In addition to saving at the Food Court, MILITARY STAR® Card holders receive exclusive savings at the pump with a five cents a gallon discount every time they fuel up at Army and Air Force fuel stations. On top of the everyday savings, steeper discounts are offered periodically throughout the year. From Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 30-Jan. 4, the Exchange will provide a 20 cents per gallon discount at Army and Air Force fuel stations when using a MILITARY STAR® Card.

— 30 —

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

###

 Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

The Exchange Takes the Hassle out of Taking it Home with Sears Home Delivery

Monday, December 19th, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-066
RELEASE DATE: December 19, 2011

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service has taken the hassle and expense out of getting new furniture, appliances and mattresses home and installed by partnering with Sears Home Delivery.

Through this service, shoppers making purchases prior to 3 p.m. often can schedule delivery for the very next day. A two-hour window is set the evening before the uniformed Sears crews deliver. Services range from $79.95 to $94.95.

“The Exchange’s motto of ‘we go where you go’ now includes going to military shoppers’ homes,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “From sofas to washers and driers to mattresses, this partnership ensures items arrive safely and are installed properly.”

In addition to delivery and installation, old appliances, mattresses and furniture are hauled away for $10 per delivery, one for one (i.e. buy a new mattress, the old one can be hauled away). More technical installations or required assemblies can be arranged directly at the Exchange.

— 30 —

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

###

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Sweepstakes to Make Holiday Dreams Come True with $14,500 in Prizes

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-065
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2011

DALLAS – Military shoppers will be dreaming of a green Christmas as the Exchange will award nearly $15,000 in total prizes as part of its latest sweepstakes.

The Exchange will award grand prizes of $2,600 in American Express gift cards to five lucky entrants of its “Coke Holiday Sweepstakes.” In addition to the five grand prizes, 25 first place winners will receive a Coca-Cola Plush Polar Bear.

“This sweepstakes is our way of giving back to shoppers who exercise their benefit by shopping the Exchange,” said the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. “Even those who don’t win the sweepstakes will come out on top at the Exchange with tax-free savings and prices averaging roughly 24 percent below the competition.”

Military shoppers can enter the “Coke Holiday Sweepstakes” at their local Exchange from Dec. 16-29.  No purchase is necessary to enter and the drawing will take place on or about Feb. 10, 2012.

— 30 —

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

###

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Gift Cards Ensure Troops’ Stockings are Stuffed for the Holidays

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-063
RELEASE DATE: December 13, 2011

DALLAS – According to the National Retail Federation, more than half of all shoppers in 2010 said they’d like to receive gift cards, marking four years in a row that gift cards have topped consumers’ holiday wish lists. And while most any gift card will work for most, military supporters have long struggled with finding the right one for troops serving far from home.

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s 3,100 retail facilities in all 50 states and some 30 countries has the solution for both military members and supporters.

“Exchange gift cards are an excellent way to send troops exactly what they want as they can select their own gifts,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “Whether the service member who receives the card wants a cappuccino from Starbucks, some beef jerky from the Exchange or a tank of gas for the family car, the recipient gets support that is tailored to their need.”

While only authorized military shoppers can redeem Exchange gift cards, any American can send them by simply calling 800-527-2345 or logging on to www.shopmyexchange.com and clicking “Support Your Troops” and then the “Gift and Calling Cards” icon.

From there, Exchange gift cards, ranging in values from $10 to $500, can be addressed to a specific Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine or sent to “any service member” through the American Red Cross, Fisher House Foundation, USO, Soldier and Family Assistance Center, Air Force Aid Society or Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

— 30 —

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

###

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Turn a Trip to the Exchange into a Vacation of a Lifetime

Monday, December 12th, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-062
RELEASE DATE: December 12, 2011

DALLAS –  Loading up the car and embarking on a long road trip for this year’s vacation will have to wait for one military family as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) Resorts have teamed up to offer an amazing choice of destinations in its latest sweepstakes.

One lucky family of four that wins the “AFRC Resorts Sweepstakes” will receive roundtrip airfare and seven nights’ accommodations at one of four AFRC Resorts:

  • Edelweiss Lodge and Resort (Garmisch, Germany)
  • Shades of Green (Orlando, Fla.)
  • Hale Koa Hotel (Honolulu, HI)
  • Dragon Hill Lodge (Seoul, Korea)

“Whether the winning entry comes from Fort Irwin or the Azores, one lucky military family is going on a vacation like no other,” said the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. “This is one trip you won’t want to miss out on.”

Military shoppers can enter the “AFRC Resorts Sweepstakes” at their local Exchange through January 1.  No purchase is necessary to enter and the drawing will take place on or about Feb. 6, 2012.

 — 30 —

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

###

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Offers Support on Some Level to Entire Military

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-062
RELEASE DATE: December 7, 2011

DALLAS – On any given day, a variety of visitors, contractors and Department of Defense (DoD) civilians visit any one of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s more than 3,000 food, entertainment and retail operations around the world. The question most frequently posed by these visitors is “Who’s authorized to shop these facilities?”

Exchange service authorization actually begins with the House Armed Services Committee and ultimately ends with the installation commander. The guidelines, as prescribed by Army Regulation 215-8/Air Force Instruction 34-211 (I) and the Armed Services Exchange Regulations, Department of Defense Instruction 1330.21, require proper identification of authorized customers, including uniformed personnel and members of the Reserve Components and family members, applicable DoD civilians, Exchange associates, retirees and their dependents who possess a basic Exchange purchase privilege authorization card.

While rules governing who can buy merchandise and services at Exchanges often apply to a chosen few, the doors to the Exchange’s 1,500-plus food facilities and more than 300 Expresses are open to virtually anyone looking for a taste of home. In fact, DoD policy allows all federal government employees, and even installation visitors, to dine at Exchange restaurants as long as their orders are consumed on the installation. Furthermore, anyone can purchase single-serve consumables from an Express, an option that is especially valuable late at night considering many Exchange convenience stores offer extended hours.

“Most Expresses have “Snack Avenues” which offer a broad selection of snacks and beverages,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “Fruit, candy bars, soft drinks and even chicken pot pies can be picked up by just about anyone with business on the installation.”

Anyone who believes they may qualify for exchange benefits, including access to the main Exchange, may go to www.shopmyexchange.com, select “Exchange Stores” and then choose “Authorized Patrons” from the menu on the left of the page. Store-level contact information is available online at www.shopmyexchange.com under the “Store Locator” link.

— 30 —

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

###

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Getting cash at the Exchange is like money in the bank

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: SSG Mark Matthews
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-061
RELEASE DATE: December 2, 2011

Getting cash at the Exchange is like money in the bank

DALLAS – As banks calculate consumer’s pain threshold for increasing fees, the Exchange is offering shoppers cheap access to their money with free check cashing and cash back on debit transactions.

“It’s all about saving money and time,” said the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. “You can cash your checks and get cash on your own time at the Exchange and won’t be charged a fee.”

Authorized shoppers can cash personal checks up to $300 per day, per customer at no charge and as always, checks will be accepted up to the exact amount of any purchase. Customers will also be able to use their debit cards to receive up to $50 cash back at the registers. 

The Exchange also cashes a wide variety of other checks and instruments for cash at no charge such as Army Emergency Relief, Air Force Aid Society and Naval Relief Society checks, U.S. insurance checks, U.S money orders, traveler’s checks, Western Union checks as well as payroll checks issued by authorized government contractors and other non-appropriated fund agencies.

Shoppers can visit their local Exchange for more information about its free check cashing policy.

-30-

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact SSG Mark Matthews, 214-312-4273 or matthewsmb@aafes.com.

Price of School Lunch to Increase

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Lt. Col. Tom Shrader
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-060
RELEASE DATE: December 2, 2011

Price of School Lunch to Increase

DALLAS – Starting January 3, 2012, school lunch prices at all Department of Defense Education Activity schools Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) will increase.

On November 10, 2011, the military services approved an increase in the price of school lunches at DoDEA schools in order to keep pace with increasing operational costs and comply with The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296). The Act requires participants in the USDA meal program to raise paid student lunch prices to a level comparable to the state subsidy rate used for USDA reimbursement. 

“As the designated School Food Authority, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service provides school meals on a non-profit, break even basis. In order to keep pace with increasing food and operational costs, and to be compliant with this new law, school lunch prices will increase for the first time in seven years,” explained U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Shrader, an Exchange spokesman.

The last price increase was a $0.10 per meal in 2004.  The new increase is $.35 per full price meal making the new prices starting on January 3, 2012, $2.40 for Elementary Students and $2.55 for Secondary Students. Families qualifying for the Free and Reduced Meal Program will not be impacted by the meal cost increases. The cost of a reduced-price meal will remain unchanged at 40 cents per meal.

Wholesome, balanced meals are vital to the academic achievement of school-aged children. The DoD School Meal Program meets the same USDA guidelines as CONUS schools by providing all of the important nutrients children need to be successful in school and healthy in the future.

For more information on Free and Reduced meal eligibility requirements, contact your installation School Liaison Officer. For more information on the School Meal Program, visit www.shopmyexchange.com.

 — 30 —

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

 ###

Media Notes:  For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Lt. Col. Tom Shrader at 214-312-2753 or shraderte@aafes.com.