Archive for January, 2013

Army & Air Force Exchange Service and U.S. Army Partner to Open ‘Wounded Heroes Service Center’

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: Judd Anstey
MEDIA ADVISORY: 13-003
RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2013

DALLAS – After more than a decade of war, the military continues to adapt to the changing needs of servicemembers. Even the 117-year-old Army & Air Force Exchange Service is adjusting to address new realities as it opens a new facility designed specifically for wounded warriors.

Just a short drive from Landstuhl Medical Center, the military’s largest hospital outside of the United States, the Exchange partnered with the Department of the Army to open a first-of-its-kind facility for wounded Soldiers in Kaiserslautern, Germany at Kleber Kaserne.

“Many injured servicemembers come to Landstuhl with little more than the clothes on their back,” said the Exchange’s Military Clothing Manager at Kleber Kaserne, Deniz Barcala. “Since 9-11, thousands of troops have been bused to our warehouse to pick up clothing, footwear and more after being evacuated from a war zone. About a year ago, Army and Exchange leadership decided we could serve these heroes better.”

The resulting “Wounded Heroes Service Center,” with handicap accessible dressing rooms, bathrooms and entrance, is a first for the Exchange. Now open, the new Military Clothing store is for the exclusive use of patients being treated at Landstuhl Medical Center.

“The opening of this facility is another example of the Army’s continued investment in the care of our wounded servicemen and women,” said the Commanding General of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command Maj. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee.

“Out of 3,100 operations worldwide, the Exchange has nothing else like it,” said the Exchange’s European Commander Col. Fredrick Hannah. “Because they are bused in, visitors have a limited amount of time to pick up new gear. Beyond having a facility that is easier to navigate, we also have associates who shop with the servicemember, put items in their cart and even pack their merchandise up for the bus ride back. Everything about the experience is designed to make getting a new uniform quick and easy.”

The Exchange’s “Wounded Heroes Service Center” officially opened on January 16, 2013. The facility offers a full assortment of uniforms, gloves, hats, boots and duffel bags.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Judd Anstey, 214-312-3861 or Anstey@aafes.com.

Mobile Field Exchanges ‘Go Where They Go’

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 13-002
RELEASE DATE: January 16, 2013

DALLAS – For the first time in four years, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service does not currently have a Mobile Field Exchange (MFE) deployed in the United States. But while things may be peaceful now, they are continually standing at the ready for the next emergency or training exercise.

MFEs are specially configured semi-trailers furnished with retail merchandise, supplies and equipment that support disaster relief efforts and contingency operations. The Exchange currently has 13 MFEs and two barber shops that can be deployed within 48 hours of an approved request to hurricane relief efforts, firefighting support or major military exercises.

“To live up to the Exchange motto of ‘We Go Where You Go,’ we need short notice, mobile Exchange capability,” said the Exchange’s Director of Contingency Col. Roger Neumann.  “Our MFEs provide that capability, since you can’t just come in and set up a regular brick-and-mortar store in many locations troops are called to serve. We continually track natural disasters so that when troops are called to assist, we can have the resources available to support them in relief efforts.”

In just the past two years, US-based Exchange MFEs supported more than 60,000 National Guard and Reserve members at training exercises at approximately 30 locations throughout the United States and South America. Most recently, three MFEs were deployed following Superstorm Sandy to provide support to more than 1,500 service members.

While all 13 of the Exchange’s MFEs may be on a rare, well-deserved hiatus, service members can rest assured knowing that when the next natural disaster or training exercise calls them to action, the Exchange will be available for a taste of home.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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.

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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 Store Manager Lends a Helping Hand in Afghanistan

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: LTC Thomas Shrader
MEDIA ADVISORY: 13-001
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 15, 2013

DALLAS – Putting in a 12- to 14-hour workday seven days a week in a combat zone would be enough excitement for most people. But Army & Air Force Exchange Service Store Manager Maria Schizas-Price wanted to do more. So she volunteered with a local Navy detachment to reach out to the local community near her base in the Helmand River Valley in Afghanistan.

For the past few months, Price has worked with the Navy Preventive Medicine Detachment, Charlie Surgical Company CLR 15 at Camp Leatherneck to collect and distribute badly needed winter clothes and school supplies for local children. So far she and the Navy detachment have collected and distributed over 200 pounds of supplies to an orphanage in nearby Lashkar Gah.

“I have children and grandchildren of my own, and it would tear my heart out if they would have to go an entire winter without a decent coat to wear,” said Price. “Back in the States we sometimes take for granted simple things like school supplies. But out here children cherish them because they are often a rare luxury. Through the generosity of many, many donors these children are able to get a better education and endure the harsh winter,” Price added.

This is the third deployment for Price, and in some ways it has been the most satisfying.

“I love my job managing the local Exchange store here on Camp Leatherneck,” said Price. The troops are fabulous.  We really see the appreciation in their eyes when they can get that little taste of home like a can of their favorite soda or a bag of chips here in a combat zone. Plus helping the Afghan children makes it even more rewarding.”

Maria Schizas-Price is one of 7,500 Exchange associates who have deployed since 9/11.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact LTC Thomas Shrader, 214-312-2753 or shraderte@aafes.com.