Archive for April, 2014

Exchange’s Colonial Candle Contest Makes Good Scents

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

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DALLAS – Military shoppers whose love of candles burns bright can win big with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s latest giveaway in celebration of Mother’s Day.

From May 5 through May 16, Exchange shoppers can enter the Colonial Candle Mother’s Day Giveaway by submitting a review of their favorite Colonial Candle scent in 50 words or less. Entries should be emailed to patriotfamily@aafes.com with “Colonial Candle Mother’s Day Giveaway” in the subject line. Entries must include contestant’s name, address, nearest Exchange, daytime phone number and rank or occupation of sponsor.

Five winners will each receive a Colonial Candle gift bag, which includes a 22-oz. jar candle, an 8-oz. jar candle, electric warmer, snap wax melt, candle kit and travel tin.

“The Exchange makes it easy for shoppers to win,” said Col. Tom Ockenfels, Exchange Chief of Staff. “It’s as simple as sending an email.”

Exchange shoppers can visit www.shopmyexchange.com/patriotfamily for complete contest rules. Winners will be selected on or about May 30.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint nonappropriated 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 Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Army & Air Force Exchange Service websites unaffected by Heartbleed vulnerability

Monday, April 28th, 2014

DALLAS – Army & Air Force Exchange Service customers and vendors have expressed concern about security of their information in light of reports about the Heartbleed security flaw.

The Exchange’s online shopping site, shopmyexchange.com, and business partner site, partners.aafes.com, have not been compromised by the Heartbleed security flaw, a vulnerability found in servers that allows hackers to see and collect traffic passing between a server and a web browser once a secure connection is established.

“Because of proactive updates and monitoring, all our systems have been protected,” said Philip Stevens, Exchange Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “The Exchange is continually updating its systems to protect against security flaws such as Heartbleed, and protecting military shoppers’ personal information remains a priority.”

If Exchange shoppers are concerned about the safety of their data on other web sites, they can protect themselves from the security flaw by changing online passwords for personal banking, shopping, email and social networks. Shoppers are also advised to closely monitor credit cards and bank statements for unknown or fraudulent transactions.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint nonappropriated 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 Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Exchange Online Pet Photo Contest Will Get Tails Wagging

Monday, April 21st, 2014

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DALLAS – Military shoppers who think their pet is the cat’s meow can take a shot at a $500 grand prize in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s online “Just Say Treat” Pet Photo Contest.

From May 2 through May 24, authorized Exchange shoppers can send in photos of their household or outdoor pets for a chance at the grand prize—a $500 Exchange gift card. Two second-place winners will each be awarded a $100 gift card and four third-place winners will each take home $50 Exchange gift cards.

“From loyal pups to cuddly kittens to scaly reptiles, pets are important members of the family,” said Col. Tom Ockenfels, Exchange Chief of Staff. “Exchange shoppers can win big just by showing off a photo of their pride and joy.”   

To complete an entry form, Exchange shoppers can visit shopmyexchange.com/patriotfamily or the Exchange’s Facebook page at facebook.com/AAFES.BX.PX. Contestants can also email their pet’s photograph plus a description of the pet in 50 words or less to PatroitFamily@aafes.com. In the email, entrants must include their name, address, closest Exchange, daytime phone number, rank and branch of service, or their sponsor’s. Pet information, such as name, breed and type of pet, must also be included.

“Just Say Treat” winners will determined on or about June 6.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint nonappropriated 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 Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Exchange rewards students with You Made the Grade program

Friday, April 18th, 2014

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DALLAS—Military students can turn good grades into rewards with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s You Made the Grade program. From first-graders to high school seniors, pupils who maintain a B average or higher are eligible for the program that recognizes academic excellence.

The You Made the Grade program rewards military students with a coupon booklet filled with free offers and discounts, including a free regular 6-inch Subway sandwich and a Burger King Tendergrill chicken sandwich. Those who make the grade will also score Snack Avenue coupons for a free 16-ounce drink, a complimentary hot dog and more.

Other offers include $5 off a $25 iTunes gift card as well as discounts on clothing and shoes, among others. Students with a B average or better can also enter the You Made the Grade semiannual sweepstakes to receive gift cards worth $2,000, $1,500 or $500.

“The Exchange is proud to reward military students who make it their mission to do well in school,” said the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col. Thomas Ockenfels.

“Servicemembers’ children face unique challenges inside and outside the classroom,” he said, noting MilitaryFamily.org reports that most military children will attend nine different schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. “The Exchange recognizes these students’ challenges, and they deserve to be rewarded.”

Students, including those who are home schooled, can receive a You Made the Grade coupon booklet by presenting a valid military I.D. and proof of an overall B average at their nearest Exchange customer service area. Eligible students can pick up one coupon booklet for each qualifying report card. Entries for the gift card sweepstakes drawing can be submitted twice a year, with drawings typically held in June and December.

Students and guardians can visit their local Exchange for more information about the Exchange’s You Made the Grade program.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint nonappropriated 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 nonappropriated 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 Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Exchange delivers award-winning timeliness, accuracy and efficiency

Monday, April 14th, 2014

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DALLAS –The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is committed to providing servicemembers and their families access to the products they want, when they want them.  When timely delivery is the objective, the organization relies on logistics to ensure customer satisfaction for military shoppers around the world. The Exchange’s logistics team’s efforts have not gone unnoticed as the Defense Transportation System (DTS) has ranked the Exchange top amongst its peers.

In fact, the Exchange recently received three Surface Deployment Distribution Command (SDDC) Shipper Compliance Awards for medium, large and extra-large volume of cargo moved through the DTS.

These SDDC Shipper Compliance Awards recognize the Exchange for its timely and accurate submissions of documentation. Beyond making the shipping process of transporting everyday necessities more efficient, accurate paper work also allows the Exchange to provide on time delivery of seasonal and top-selling products.  

All three SDDC awards are based on the Exchange’s report card, which monitors the effectiveness of the organization’s shipping capabilities. Each year, the Exchange and more than 2,000 other organizations are rated according to timeliness and accuracy. The SDDC reviews the reports and awards the top 15 shippers who submitted error-free shipping instructions (also known as bookings).

The Exchange’s Dan Daniel Distribution Center booked a total of 5,771 shipments with 100 percent accuracy and was awarded the SDDC’s Shipper Compliance award in the extra-large category.

With 1,035 shipments, the Konoike Pacific Consolidated Center won the large category while the Coastal Pacific Food Distribution Center booked 373 shipments and was top rated in the medium category.

All three centers were recognized for their 100 percent accuracy, timeliness and effectiveness. 

“It’s a great honor for the Exchange to receive three Shipper Compliance Awards from the SDDC,” said the Exchange’s Deputy Director of Logistics Col. Colice Powell. “A lot of hard work from a lot of different people goes into ensuring the right products arrive where they need to, when they need to. These awards recognize the commitment Exchange associates have for Soldiers, Airmen and their families.” 

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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 Staff Sgt. Mark Matthews, 214-312-4273 or matthewsmb@aafes.com.

Seven Years Later, Exchange Helps Deceased Soldier’s Family Track Down Final Memento

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

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DALLAS –When a Columbia, S.C., family reached out to the Fort Jackson Exchange to track down jewelry purchased by their son, a soldier who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007, several members of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service team came together to make sure the family would have a lasting memory.

Harry and Kum White’s son Pfc. Anthony James White, 20, served in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C. Pfc. White died in Iraq in March 2007, just days after placing a deposit on two engraved necklace gold charms from Camp Warhorse.

Harry White, a retired sergeant major who served in the Army for 30 years, had held off going through his son’s belongings for years and had recently found the receipt showing an unpaid balance for the charms. He turned to the Fort Jackson Exchange to help him get in touch with the vendor so he could recover one last memory of his son.

“I went to the Exchange at Fort Jackson and asked, ‘Can anyone help me?’” he said. “I was shocked the Exchange went out on a limb to do this for us.”

White was put in touch with Carol Lamb, a services operations assistant at the Fort Jackson Exchange, and her supervisor, Della Hannah. They immediately began tracking down the jewelry vendor in Iraq.

“He so desperately wanted that jewelry because of the connection to his son,” Lamb said. “I told him I’d do everything I could to help him.”

To try to find the jewelry vendor, Lamb and Hannah reached out to Hannah Kaetterhenry, an Exchange services business tech in Afghanistan. Kaetterhenry, in turn, contacted Camisha Smith, an Exchange services business manager in Kuwait to find the vendor, Lone Star.

“I made this one of my top priorities,” Smith said. “I was just doing my job, helping to make sure the family could have a piece of their son’s history—something their son wanted.”

Based on the receipt information, Smith contacted Lone Star’s headquarters in Fahaheel, Kuwait, and confirmed it sold jewelry in Iraq from 2003-11. Smith sent Lone Star a copy of the Soldier’s receipt, and the vendor offered to remake the charms for White for free.

The charms were sent to Smith, who mailed them to White. One charm bears the name “Alecia” on one side, with the Arabic equivalent on the other. The second charm reads “Cierra” in English and Arabic. Both charms were meant to be gifts for friends of Pfc. White. The charms are now on display in the Whites’ home, with other mementos of their son.

For White and his wife, receiving the mementoes of their son’s time in Iraq was bittersweet.

“We’re happy that the jewelry was re-created, but we’re sad he’s not here to spend time with us. My son was a joyful young man who left this world too soon.”

For the Exchange team, the ability to help a slain Soldier’s parents reinforces the Exchange’s mission to serving customers and treating them like family.

“I’m just really glad we were able to help Mr. White,” Lamb said. “Helping someone preserve the memories of a lost child is an awesome thing to be able to do.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint nonappropriated 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 Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Exchange Quality Assurance team last line of defense for safety and performance

Monday, April 7th, 2014

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DALLAS – In the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Quality Assurance testing facility, it is not uncommon to see a flicker of light through the blinds or to experience the faint smell of burning plastic seeping up from under the closed doors. Although the unsuspecting may assume there is an emergency, it’s business as usual at the Exchange as inspectors are ensuring product quality and safety standards.    

Military shoppers expect the products they purchase to meet high standards for safety and quality. The Exchange takes steps beyond federal regulations to ensure customers can be confident that the diamond engagement ring is genuine, the baby’s crib is secure and kids’ toys are safe.

The Exchange is on the customer’s side when it comes to product quality and 19 associates with trained eyes make up the QA team including two Gemology Institute of America alums who ensure the value, authenticity and quality of the Exchange’s jewelry selection. While QA inspections are primarily visual, many products are also checked for functionality to examine if products are fit for sale and use.

The Exchange also conducts product testing or evaluations based on customer complaints and concerns. Select samples are also tested from outside labs to ensure the consistency and integrity of vendor or manufacturer’s test results.

“There is nothing more important than ensuring all of the products we carry are safe for our Soldiers, Airmen and families,” said the Exchange’s Deputy Director Maj. Gen. Joseph Ward. “Whether it’s a car seat for children, pieces of tactical gear or a household cleaning product, Exchange inspectors carefully test merchandise before it goes on our store shelves. As we say in the Air Force, ‘test before flight!’” 

From the lab at the Exchange’s headquarters to its distribution centers, a team of inspectors, veterinarians and gemologists bring safe and reliable products to every member of the military family.

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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 Staff Sgt. Mark Matthews, 214-312-4273 or matthewsmb@aafes.com.

Exchange Warns Shoppers About Used-Vehicle Scams

Friday, April 4th, 2014

DALLAS – The Army & Exchange Service is warning military shoppers about scammers posing as service members offering to broker the sale of used boats, cars and motorcycles through the Exchange.  

In one recent case, a scammer, who posed as a Soldier, tried to defraud a man in Tennessee out of $2,500 for the sale of a used boat, saying that the Exchange would ship the boat once payment was made. Fortunately, the would-be buyer contacted the Fort Campbell Exchange and was advised that any ads related to used-vehicle sales are fraudulent as the Exchange does not have authority to sell vehicles in the continental United States.

“I’m glad this individual contacted us prior to wiring any funds because it has been our experience that once money is sent, no vehicle is received and the ‘seller’ is nowhere to be found,” said Rick Koloski, the Exchange’s Loss Prevention vice president.

“In the past, we’ve been aware of cases where these scammers have used the Exchange trademarked logo and name to purportedly sell used motorcycles and cars in the United States,” Koloski said. “Now, they have branched out into boats. We have received a steady flow of calls from people who have been wrongly informed they are waiting on a motor vehicle from the Exchange.”

The Exchange is authorized to sell new cars and motorcycles, but only overseas. Exchange facilities are located solely on military installations. While the Exchange does have mail order and Internet offerings, the Exchange does not advertise in civilian outlets such as metropolitan newspapers or automobile sales magazines. All advertisements for legitimate Exchange offerings are published in outlets whose audiences mostly comprise military members.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint nonappropriated 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 Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Wide Variety of Prizes Available in Exchange’s April Homeward Bound Giveaways

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

DALLAS – April showers are bringing much more than flowers as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service offers a wide variety of giveaways as part of its Homeward Bound campaign, celebrating the homecoming of America’s warfighters and honoring those who serve.

From April 4-11, authorized shoppers can enter the BOSE stereo gift card giveaway for a chance to win one of 20 Exchange gift cards valued at $500. Additionally, three military shoppers will win one year’s worth of free haircuts – a $480 value.

Then, from April 11-17, one lucky winner will take home a $5,000 Exchange gift card courtesy of XBOX. From April 18-30, shoppers can enter to win a 173-bottle wine refrigerator and a dinner party for ten with David Mirassou, a 6th generation wine maker. Three runners-up will receive a 28-bottle capacity platinum wine cooler.

Finally, from April 25-May 1, a Waterford Crystal Eagle valued at approximately $300 will be given away.

“With nearly $20,000 in giveaways in April alone, military shoppers should get to their nearest Exchange to enter for a shot at the winnings,” said the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels.

More information about Homeward Bound, including additional upcoming promotions, can be found at www.shopmyexchange.com/homewardbound.

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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 Shoppers Are in The Hunt for $3,000 in Gift Cards in Easter Contest

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

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DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service wants to fill shoppers’ baskets with $3,000 in Exchange gift cards just in time for Easter with its latest contest sponsored by Hershey, Mars and Wrigley.

The Hunt Is On contest starts at the Exchange where shoppers search for clues throughout the store. A clue map can be picked up at the store or downloaded from the Exchange’s Patriot Family Connection website at shopmyexchange.com/patriotfamily. After collecting all five answers, contestants can go to the Exchange’s Facebook page to post their findings. All five correct answers must be provided to qualify for the prizes.

Four winners will receive a $500 Exchange gift card and 10 lucky winners will receive a $100 Exchange gift card. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by email.

“The Exchange wants shoppers to get hopping so they can win these prizes,” said Exchange Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. “Besides the contest, the Exchange has everything needed to celebrate Easter. From candy to spring attire, we have it here to make the holiday one to remember.”

The Exchange’s Hunt Is On contest runs April 4 through April 20. No purchase is necessary to win.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint nonappropriated 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 Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.