Archive for April, 2016

Exchange Honors Military Spouses with $5,000 Vacation Giveaway

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

DALLAS – Military Spouse Appreciation Day falls on May 6 this year, but the Exchange will celebrate the contributions of military spouses all month by offering a chance to win a resort vacation package for two valued at more than $5,000. 

WK22_BoY_newOne lucky winner will have their pick of more than 2,000 resort locations worldwide, plus a Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 two-piece luggage set, a Sony a6000 digital camera bundle with two interchangeable lenses and camera and lens accessories, and a $2,500 Exchange gift card.

 

Four runners-up will each receive one $250 Firestone gift card. Overseas runners-up will receive a $250 Exchange gift card. 

The sweepstakes is part of the Exchange’s Because of You program, which has expanded in 2016 to celebrate military families as well as honor active-duty troops, allowing the Exchange to express gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

“Military spouses truly deserve their fair share of credit for their role in protecting our nation’s freedoms,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Managing a household, raising children, providing unending support for their partner – sometimes while their significant other is thousands of miles in a dangerous war zone – takes a toll only those who have experienced it can understand. That’s why the Exchange is proud to offer a chance to live the good life with a luxurious vacation for two at one of these top-tier resorts.”

Authorized shoppers 18 and older can enter the $5K Vacation Getaway Giveaway online from May 1-31 at www.shopmyexchange.com/becauseofyou. Winners will be chosen at random and notified no later than June 19. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

Exchange Shoppers Can Win a $5,000 Gift Card Courtesy of Promotion in Motion

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

DALLAS – Shoppers with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service can enter to win a sweet surprise this summer during the Candy Carnival sweepstakes.

87339_Promotion in Motion Sweepstakes PosterOne lucky winner will receive a $5,000 Exchange gift card courtesy of Promotion in Motion, the makers of Welch’s and Sour Jacks.

Shoppers can enter between April 22 and July 7 at www.shopmyexchange.com/sweepstakes. The winner will be drawn on or about July 14.

“A prize like this will satisfy the sweet tooth of any shopper,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “We couldn’t be happier to offer military shoppers a chance to spoil themselves this summer with some serious extra spending money.”

The Promotion in Motion Candy Carnival sweepstakes is open to authorized shoppers age 18 and older. No purchase is necessary to win.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

Exchange to Open Its First Overseas GNC Location at Ramstein Air Base

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service will open its first GNC store outside of the United States this year at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center mall on Ramstein Air Base.

GNClogoAn opening date for the store is still being determined. Additional GNC locations at other locations in Germany and the Pacific are also under review.

“The Exchange wants Americans serving or living overseas to feel at home, even if they’re thousands of miles away from their families and hometowns,” said Trinidad Saucedo, the Exchange’s senior vice president of services, food and fuel. “We continue to expand our offerings at installations the world over, bringing familiar brands to Soldiers, Airmen and families who sacrifice so much to defend our nation’s freedoms.”

The store represents a milestone for the Exchange. It will be the first third-party branded retailer at an Exchange facility to be directly run by the Exchange instead of the third-party retailer itself.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

At 82, ‘Mama’ Keeps Serving Soldiers, Retirees At Fort Sam

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – At 82, an age when most Americans have long settled into retirement, Stella Graham just keeps working, as she has for decades at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. 

For nearly 48 years, Graham has stayed true to her mission of serving Soldiers, families and retirees at Fort Sam through her part-time job with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. Her servant’s heart keeps her young and is a testament to the Exchange’s core value of family serving family. 

23771717903_6b36ce706d_o“I like helping, giving back and giving words of encouragement,” said Graham, who works at the Exchange’s food court at Fort Sam. 

The San Antonio resident has spent her entire career in food service at the Fort Sam Exchange. Her husband served in the Army, and he brought her to Fort Sam in 1968, after he returned from Vietnam. Since then, Graham has dedicated her career to serving Soldiers, families and retirees. 

“Everyone knows her,” said Fort Sam Food Court Manager Marjorie Wilson-Granvle, who has been Graham’s boss since 2007. “Everyone calls her ‘Mama.’ I started it, and everyone picked up on it.”  

Graham works several hours every weekday. Her duties include preparing salads, baking bread and ensuring the dining room is ready for Soldiers. 

“And if she’s not here, customers will ask about her,” Wilson-Granvle said. 

Graham’s favorite part of her job is talking to retirees every morning and helping them get their coffee. She also relishes the chance to talk to active-duty Soldiers.

“I love their uniforms,” Graham said.  “My father, my brother, my husband—they all wore the uniform. God bless them.”

Even though she’s 82, Graham isn’t slowing down. Her dedication to doing her job—and doing it well—makes her an exemplary associate, Wilson-Granvle said.

“She’s here early and willing to stay late,” Wilson-Granvle said. “She’s faithful and loyal. Her co-workers have nothing but respect for her.”  

Graham tried to retire once, back in December 1994. Her retirement lasted just two months. She returned to the Exchange because, as a former military spouse, she loved the connection with the military. 

When she’s not working, Graham spends time playing bingo and checking on her daughter and son-in-law, both of whom have physical disabilities that require them to use wheelchairs. 

When it comes to her job at the Exchange, Graham says she wants to continue working until she reaches 50 years of service. 

“I can handle anything that comes my way,” she said.

 

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 The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htmor follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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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.

Air Force Retirees, National Guardsman Win Big in Exchange’s Your Holiday Bill Is On Us Sweepstakes

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Winners, including a Vietnam veteran, have their MILITARY STAR accounts paid in full

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service made wishes come true for three grand-prize winners of the worldwide MILITARY STAR Your Holiday Bill Is On Us sweepstakes—and for one retiree, the prize was a way of saying “thank  you” for sacrifices made decades ago. 

Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James Jones, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Catherine Lawrence and Texas Army National Guard Sgt. Clayton Anders were grand-prize winners out of 4.7 million entries worldwide. The winners, who bought holiday gifts at the Exchange, all had their MILITARY STAR accounts paid in full. 

DSC_4791“These three grand-prize winners prove real heroes win our sweepstakes,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “The Exchange is honored to pay it forward to these individuals, and we’re looking forward to bringing this sweepstakes back for 2016.”

The prize presentation to Jones, who served at Ubon Air Base, Thailand, during the Vietnam War, was especially poignant. 

“So few who served during this time were thanked for their sacrifices when they returned home,” Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull said during the presentation to Jones at Barksdale Air Force Base. “It’s so important to honor his service. What he did so many years ago for all of us is a true sacrifice.”

At the end of the presentation, Jones ripped an oversize statement, symbolizing his $2,339 bill being wiped clean. Because his bill was less than the $2,500 minimum prize, he also received a statement credit. 

“When I first heard I’d won, I thought it was a hoax,” said Jones, who lives in Shreveport, La. “It was a wonderful surprise. Having this bill paid does take a load off my mind.”

Lawrence, too, had her mind eased by having her $3,305.70 balance paid off during a presentation at McConnell Air Force Base. She opened her MILITARY STAR card in November and used her card at shopmyexchange.com to buy Christmas gifts for her teenage son and nieces. She also splurged on herself—buying a 55-inch TV she had been wanting for years.

“I have to stretch my budget,” said Lawrence, whose 23-year military career ended when she suffered permanent nerve damage after shattering two vertebrae in her neck while exercising to prepare for deployment. “I’m a single mom, and I take care of my disabled dog, too. Having this bill paid means less stress on me, especially since I’m disabled.”

For Anders, who serves in the Texas Army National Guard, having his $3,735 MILITARY STAR account wiped clean has brought his family peace of mind, too. He used his card over the holidays at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base Exchange in part to buy gifts for his teenage daughters. Anders was honored during a presentation at Exchange Headquarters in Dallas. 

“Winning this prize means my family will be better prepared when I deploy to Kuwait next year,” said Anders, who serves with D Co. 2-149th General Support Aviation Battalion. 

The MILITARY STAR card is an exclusive line of credit for the military and their families to use at the Exchange—no matter where military members serve. During November and December, shoppers were automatically entered in the Your Holiday Bill Is On Us sweepstakes each time they used their MILITARY STAR card to pay for purchases at any Army or Air Force Exchange location or on shopmyexchange.com. The 2015 holiday season marked the sweepstakes’ second year.

Authorized shoppers can learn more about the MILITARY STAR card at www.MyECP.com.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htmor follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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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.

As Tax Day Approaches, Exchange Doubles Gas Savings for MILITARY STAR Cardholders

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is giving military shoppers a reason to look forward to Tax Day by doubling the discount MILITARY STAR® cardholders receive on gas.

Gas PromoFrom April 15 through April 17, drivers fueling up with a MILITARY STAR card at Army and Air Force gas stations will receive 10 cents off per gallon instead of the everyday 5-cents-per-gallon discount.

“To take some of the stress out of filing taxes, we’re giving shoppers an extra reason to come on the installation to discover what the Exchange has in store this spring,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate. “The extra savings at the pump are just one way the Exchange gives back to the military community.”  

When drivers use their MILITARY STAR card at the pump, they’ll also earn points as part of the new rewards program, which launched this fall. Cardholders earn 2 points for every $1 spent in Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy exchange stores, and wherever else the MILITARY STAR card is accepted. For every 2,000 points earned, shoppers will automatically receive a $20 rewards card.

Every day, shoppers benefit from paying with their MILITARY STAR card. Besides the usual 5-cents-per-gallon discount on gas purchases, cardholders enjoy a 10 percent discount on all Exchange food court purchases year-round and free standard shipping at shopmyexchange.com. 

For information about the features and benefits of the MILITARY STAR card, shoppers can visit www.MyECP.com.   

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htmor follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

 

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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 Gives Shoppers Chance to Win Demetrios Bridal Gown

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service will make tying the knot extra special for two lucky couples this summer with the Demetrios Bridal Gown Sweepstakes.Demetrios

Through June 30, brides, grooms and any Exchange shopper can enter for a chance to win one of two Demetrios bridal gowns courtesy of Demetrios Bridal, Asia Pacific and The Exchange.

“Almost every bride wants a dress that will take everyone’s breath away with its class, elegance and beauty,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “Now, two lucky winners will have the chance to walk down the aisle in a dress with all that ‘wow’ factor and then some – free of charge.”

Authorized shoppers 18 and older may enter the Demetrios Bridal Gown Sweepstakes at www.shopmyexchange.com/sweepstakes. No purchase is necessary.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com

Barksdale Exchange Unveils New Look, Contemporary Shopping Experience

Monday, April 4th, 2016

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service cut the ribbon on its revamped main store at Barksdale Air Force Base, bringing a modern shopping experience complete with a strong national brand presence to Airmen, families and retirees in the community.

“The Exchange is family serving family—we are all in to support you,” Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull told the Barksdale community during the grand reopening ceremony March 31. “We are grateful to be part of your community.”

DSC_4833The $8.8 million face-lift, which took roughly nine months to complete, includes polished concrete floors, fresh paint, updated signing and a customer-friendly layout featuring name-brand merchandise in the main store. That contemporary look is carried into the mall and food court, which welcomed a Subway as part of the renovation.

The Exchange contributed $6.6 million toward the renovation, while the 2d Bomb Wing allocated $2.2 million, which helped pay for the roof, pharmacy expansion, moving the post office to the front of the store and an updated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.

“This is a prime example of what partnership can mean and a wonderful example of what I like to call integrated readiness,” Shull said. “We want to be a partner in family readiness. As long as there are families to take care of, we will always want to be there.”

Col. Brandon Parker, 2d Bomb Wing vice commander, lauded the Exchange’s strong relationship with the installation.

“The Exchange has served for 120 years,” he said, noting the organization’s long history. “What you see here today carries on that tradition.”

Throughout the store, shoppers are treated to a strong national brand presence, including a BE FIT section with athletic wear and footwear for men and women from name brands such as Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, Brooks and Asics.

National brands ensure the 103,640-square-foot main store, which was built 20 years ago and updated in 2004, has a modern look and feel. On grand-opening day, Barksdale shoppers were impressed with the contemporary experience.

“The BE FIT area is awesome,” said Senior Master Sgt. Katrina McNutt. “It looks just like a sporting goods store—it’s remarkable.”

In store’s new Chef Shop, Senior Airman Mark Clifton and his wife browsed name-brand kitchen goods from Paul Deen, Pioneer Woman, Emeril and Wolfgang Puck.

“I could go crazy in this section,” Brittany Clifton said. “I’m a total foodie—and it’s nice to have so much to choose from.”

National brands, including Lucky, Columbia and Kuhl, in the menswear section won her husband over.

“I didn’t think I could find these brands at these prices here,” Airman Clifton said. “Now that I know, I’ll be back to shop more often.”

Master Sgt. Natasha Bryant hunted for deals in the children’s section, where she was shopping for her 4-month-old son. The section features fashionable clothing at affordable prices: $5, two for $15, $10, $15 and $20.

“I came in looking for steals and deals, and I found some,” she said, holding infant boys shirts from Nautica and Carter’s. “The children’s section is customer-friendly—and it looks bigger, more open.”

For Barksdale Exchange General Manager Ellen Henderson, seeing the store filled with satisfied shoppers made her team’s hard work pay off.

“This updated store really shows how much the Exchange cares,” Henderson said. “The Exchange is truly part of this community—and we want to make Barksdale the best it can be.”

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 The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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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.