Archive for July, 2016

Service Members Transitioning From Active Duty Can Keep Shopping Their Exchange

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service treats active-duty Soldiers and Airmen like family. When service members transition to Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) status, they remain family to the Exchange, keeping the shopping benefit they’ve earned.

 “Service members transitioning to IRR status are very much a part of the Exchange family and can still shop at the Exchange, both in-store and online,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “Their Exchange benefit, including tax-free shopping and competitive prices, remains intact during their time in IRR.”

 Service members transitioning from active duty and their families can continue to visit their local main Exchange, Express, mall and food court. They can also shop online at shopmyexchange.com for exclusive military pricing on many items and an expanded merchandise selection.

Besides retaining shopping privileges, those in IRR status keep their MILITARY STAR card benefits. If they don’t have an account, they are eligible to apply for one.

“The MILITARY STAR card offers a competitive interest rate and no late, annual or over-limit fees,” Applegate said. “Cardholders also receive extra savings at Exchange food courts and gas stations, free shipping on shopmyexchange.com and rewards points for every $1 spent.”

To gain access to the installation to shop at the Exchange, shoppers can apply for an IRR ID card at their installation’s personnel office 72 hours after discharging from active duty.

“It’s been an honor serving these shoppers while they served our country,” Applegate said. “The Exchange looks forward to being there for them as they transition to IRR status.”

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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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Fort Carson Shopper Wins Trip to Hawaii to See Ironman World Championship

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

FORT CARSON – A Fort Carson Exchange shopper recently won an all-expenses-paid trip to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, to see the 2016 Ironman World Championship.

Exchange associates formally presented Olga Mendoza, of Colorado Springs, Colo., with the prize at the Fort Carson Exchange on June 11.Ironman Hawaii Sweepstakes Winner

Mendoza was selected at random from more than 6,200 Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers worldwide who entered the Foster Grant Ironman Sweepstakes. The vacation package is valued at $4,700.

“When I first got the voicemail, I said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is real,’ because I’d never won anything,” she said. “When I came to the Exchange to accept the prize, they had a big display for me and everybody was giving me hugs. I felt like I was walking on clouds.”

Mendoza, who was born and raised in Russia, works for the 10 Special Forces Group at Fort Carson as a translator. Her husband, Felix, is an Army veteran with 26 years of service and two volunteer deployments to Iraq who retired in 2007. The two married in 2002.

Mendoza said while her husband will be too busy with work to accompany her on the trip, she plans to take her son, Alexey Morgun, as a surprise 24th birthday gift.

Wayne Hansen, general manager of the Fort Carson Exchange, said the Mendoza family is more than deserving of the vacation package.

“Enduring multiple deployments is a tremendous challenge not only for the Soldier in the field, but for the family he or she leaves at home,” he said. “The Exchange hopes this prize serves as a small token of our appreciation for the Mendoza family’s fortitude amid times of such tremendous selflessness and sacrifice.”

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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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As Students Head Back to Class, Exchange Gives Lessons in Extra Savings

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

DALLAS – As students and families do their homework on finding the best deals for the new school year, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is offering military shoppers A-plus savings that effectively double the Exchange’s everyday tax-free benefit.

As several states roll out “sales tax holidays” on clothing, footwear and other school-related supplies, the Exchange will match local sales tax discounts to offer an additional percentage off (equivalent to the local sales tax rate) select back-to-school items.

“At the Exchange, every day is a sales tax holiday,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “When families shop for back-to-school supplies during state sales tax holidays, the Exchange benefit becomes even more valuable.”

The sales tax holidays start in Mississippi and Tennessee on July 29 and continue in 15 other states on various dates through Aug. 27. Shoppers can check with their state’s tax website for sales tax holiday dates and included items.

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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.

Exchange, Pizza Hut Give Back to Ramstein AB with Eli Young Band Concert

Monday, July 25th, 2016

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE – For Tech. Sgt. Timothy Covey and his family, a night under the stars at a free concert was the perfect ending to a tour of duty in Germany. With a PCS scheduled just three days later, Covey, his wife, Carol, and their three children bid Ramstein AB a fond farewell by enjoying a concert by the Eli Young Band.

Eli Young Band visits Ramstein

The Coveys were among an estimated 5,500 fans who attended the free concert July 16 by Grammy-nominated Eli Young Band, who played for the Kaiserslautern military community. The concert was Ramstein AB’s prize for winning the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s and Pizza Hut’s Wing-A-Palooza contest.

“We’re country music fans and also fans of the band, so we’re pretty excited to be here,” Tech. Sgt. Covey said. “Events like these are a great morale booster. It’s great to be able to come out and just relax and not have to worry about work.”

The day before the concert, the band signed autographs and handed out free T-shirts at the KMC Exchange during a meet-and-greet session. Fans began lining up hours before the event, and the band stayed until everyone received an autograph.

The Exchange, Pizza Hut and the 86th Force Support Squadron teamed up to present the free show. Ramstein AB’s Pizza Hut sold the greatest amount of wings of Army and Air Force locations in Europe, earning their community the free concert. Airmen and families placed more than 4,400 orders for wings in February and March to win the show for the Kaiserslautern community.

“What a great event and what better way to show the Kaiserslautern military community how much they are appreciated,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “The Exchange and Pizza Hut are thrilled to play a role in providing the concert for this wonderful community.”

The show marked the third free concert the Eli Young Band has performed for the military community. In October 2014, they performed for the overseas Wing-A-Palooza winner. Camp Schwab, Okinawa, won that contest, and the free concert was held at Camp Hansen with about 7,000 military members and families in attendance. Last year, they staged a free show at Fort Benning (the U.S. winner) for approximately 4,000 fans.

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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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Army & Air Force Exchange Service Brings Freshens to the Family With Davis-Monthan AFB Location

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service ushered in a new era of healthy dining options as Freshens Fresh Food Studio made its debut at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Exchange food court, marking the restaurant’s first direct-operated location on an Army or Air Force installation.

“We’re pleased to officially welcome Freshens to the Exchange family,” said Exchange General Manager Robin Chetri. “Airmen deserve to have access to healthy meals in our food court, and Freshens brings plenty of choices to the table.”

DSCN3228a355th Mission Support Group Commander Col. Laurie Richter, Freshens President and CEO John Stern, Senior Vice President Ed Redmond, Exchange Western Regional Vice President Stephanie Burns and Exchange Director of Food Programs Darrin McCready joined Chetri in cutting the ribbon on the new restaurant, officially welcoming Freshens to the Exchange family during a grand-opening celebration July 18.

Freshens is known for health-conscious offerings such as hand-crafted crepes, salads, rice bowls, artisan flatbreads, smoothies and yogurt. Freshens also supports the environment by using Ecotainers, which are compostable and biodegradable. The restaurant meets the highest rated nutritional qualification of the military’s new Performance Triad.

“The Exchange is excited to be able to offer a brand that’s uniquely positioned to meet the needs of service members,” said Nalan Howard, Exchange restaurant program planner for Freshens.

The restaurant fits in with the Exchange’s priority of bringing name-brand restaurants with good-for-you menus to service members around the world.

“Offering healthy options in Exchange food courts from brands diners know and trust ensures service members have the fuel they need to stay mission-ready,” said Trinidad Saucedo, Exchange senior vice president for Services and Food. “Restaurants like Freshens help the Exchange live up to its duty to take care of Soldiers, Airmen and their families.”

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service plans to open a Freshens at Eglin Air Force Base this year, and plans for more locations are being discussed.

On grand-opening day, Airmen lined up to sip smoothies and chow down on flatbreads and more.

“The smoothie was fantastic,” said Tech Sgt. James Pumarejo, as he grabbed a table in the food court after the ribbon-cutting.

Staff Sgt. Peter Mendenhall agreed, saying “Everything was great—I’ll be going back.”

At Davis-Monthan, Freshens will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The restaurant joins Starbucks, Subway, Charley’s, Popeyes and Taco Johns in the food court.

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.

EXCHANGE, COMCAST NBCUNIVERSAL AND DOD AGENCIES TEAM UP TO PROVIDE SERVICE MEMBERS WITH STREAMING COVERAGE FROM THE 2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

 

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service today announced that for the first time US service members worldwide will be able to watch NBC Olympics’ streaming coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics from their desktop and personal devices.  This benefit is being provided at no cost to those who are currently serving in the US military or retired military members by Comcast NBCUniversal in partnership with the Exchange and U.S. cable, satellite and telco providers.

NBC Olympics will stream 4,500 hours of coverage, including live streaming all competition, as 10,500 athletes from 206 countries compete in 35 sports from Aug. 3-21.

“We’re excited to partner with Comcast NBCUniversal to deliver the Olympics to service members and their families, wherever they are called to serve,” said Tom Shull, Director/CEO of the Exchange. “Go USA!”

Olympics Web Banner“Few events unify the world like the Olympic Games, and it is only fitting that we make them accessible for those who chose to serve our country,” said Carol Eggert, Brigadier General (Retired), and Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs at Comcast. “We think it is extremely important to support our employees who are veterans or members of the National Guard and Reserve and the military community as a whole. We are thankful to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service for working with us to deliver the excitement of the Olympics to the military community, no matter where they are located.”

Service members will access NBC Olympics’ digital coverage from their computers or personal devices by visiting NBCOlympics.com or the NBC Sports app and choosing the Exchange as their service provider.

Due to content rights restrictions, an active shopmyexchange.com account will be required to verify eligibility. Content rights restrictions will also apply to some OCONUS locations.

When Comcast NBCUniversal offered the service, a collaborative team including the Defense Media Activity, Defense Information Systems Agency, the Exchange and DHI Telecom (an Exchange Internet, mobile and IPTV provider) swung into action to develop the technical solution required.

Additional information will be available on shopmyexchange.com.  To see a day-by-day list highlighting events to watch, go to NBCOlympics.com.

In addition to the streaming content, note that the American Forces Network (AFN) will also offer extensive NBC Olympics’ broadcast and cable coverage on its television services for the overseas American military communities around the world.

“Once again we are extremely appreciative of the International Olympic Committee, its broadcast partners around the world, and to NBC Olympics for their excellent and extensive coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games being made available to America’s military communities around the world,” said Larry Marotta, Director, Television, American Forces Network.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics will air on Friday, August 5, on NBC. Competition begins two days earlier on Wednesday, August 3, with women’s soccer on NBCSN and USA Network. The Games conclude on Sunday, August 21, with the Closing Ceremony on NBC.

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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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Exchange Gets Military Shoppers Prepared for New School Year with $5,000 in Prizes

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Back to School SweepstakesDALLAS – As the time for back-to-school shopping approaches, military shoppers can start crossing things off their school supplies lists with $5,000 in gift cards from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Hershey and Mars.

From July 22 to Aug. 18, authorized shoppers worldwide can enter the Hershey & Mars Back to School Sweepstakes for the chance to win one of 10 $500 Exchange gift cards.

“Back-to-school shopping can be as stressful as it is fun,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “These Exchange gift cards will help students start the school year off with everything they need to succeed.”

Shoppers 18 years and older can login to shopmyexchange.com/sweepstakes to enter.

No purchase is necessary, and entrants do not need to be present to win. The Hershey & Mars Back to School Sweepstakes prize drawings will take place on or around Aug. 25.

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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 Amanda Hargett-Granato, 214-312-6048 or hargettgranatoam@aafes.com.

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Celebrates 121 Years of Service, Support

Monday, July 18th, 2016

DALLAS – On July 25, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service marks a milestone—121 years of serving Soldiers, Airmen, retirees and military families.

On July 25, 1895, General Order No. 46 established the exchange on military installations, directing post commanders to set up an exchange at every post. Since then, exchanges have faithfully served alongside service members wherever they are called to serve, from Bagram to Barksdale, Benning to Baghdad and beyond.

88110_121 Anniversary Logo“The Exchange’s core value of ‘family serving family’ means we take care of Soldiers and Airmen,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “When military members deploy to remote locations around the world, the Exchange is with them, offering a lifeline to America through products and services.”

To celebrate 121 years of service and support, shoppers who use their MILITARY STAR card from July 22 through July 24 will receive double reward points, earning 4 points for every $1 spent. With the MILITARY STAR rewards program, for every 2,000 points earned, shoppers will automatically receive a $20 rewards card.

While the Exchange’s mission to support service members has remained unchanged for 121 years, the modern Exchange benefit has come a long way.

“Beyond the Main Store, the Exchange has grown to include Express convenience stores, malls, Military Clothing stores and name-brand fast-food restaurants,” Applegate said. “Overseas, the Exchange also produces baked goods and bottled water in our regional plants. We also provide school lunches and even Internet service.”

During the last few years, the Department of Defense’s oldest and largest exchange service has focused on improving Soldiers’ and Airmen’s shopping experience by bringing well-known national brands to stores, malls and food courts and first-run movies to installation theaters. The Exchange also updated shopmyexchange.com, improving navigation, product selection and service.

The Exchange also remains committed to ensuring Soldiers and Airmen have the products they need to stay resilient and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“BE FIT shops with name-brand athletic wear and footwear are rolling out to Exchanges worldwide,” Applegate said. “To ensure our troops are fueling their bodies the right way, Express locations are being stocked with healthy grab-and-go snacks, and restaurants with healthy choices are being added to the Exchange family.”

No matter where troops serve, the Exchange is more than a place to shop. When Soldiers, Airmen, retirees and military families shop their Exchange or online, they are improving their military communities. Two-thirds of Exchange earnings support military quality-of-life programs. In 2015, the Exchange distributed $237 million to fund these programs.

Military shoppers can join in as their local Exchange celebrates 121 years of family serving family. To find locations, shoppers can visit www.shopmyexchange.com/ExchangeStores/.

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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.

Mobile Exchange Serves Future Soldiers at Fort Knox

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

FORT KNOX – In the middle of a parking lot on a hot summer day in Kentucky, prospective officers take a break from their training to browse the selection at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Mobile Field Exchange (MFE). Set up in support of the Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, the Exchange MFE provides goods for the Cadre and Cadets in training.

MFEs are specially configured semitrailers furnished with retail merchandise, supplies and equipment often used to support contingency operations as well as disaster relief efforts. The assortment ranges from snacks and drinks to toiletries and batteries. The Fort Knox MFE is supporting about 5,000 Cadets during their training.

With the nearest permanent Exchange location nearly three miles away from the training grounds, the MFE provides a convenient location for trainees and trainers alike to buy basic necessities as well as grab a snack or drink.

Spc. William Salisbury, who is helping to coordinate the Cadet training, said the addition of the MFE boosted the morale of everyone involved.

“It wouldn’t be bad if we had our vehicles, but the nearest Exchange is a good walk away from here,” Salisbury said. “Before they had that mobile Exchange open, it was kind of a pain to go the Exchange, and now it’s only 50 feet away from me.”

Open since May 9, the MFE is located in the middle of the barracks to allow easy access for the Cadets and Cadre. The MFE is open from noon to 8 p.m. and will remain at Fort Knox until mid-August.

“Our goal is always to make life a little easier for our service members,” said Fort Knox Exchange General Manager Steve Ard. “As a new class of officers undergoes training out there, we’re right here to provide the Cadets and Cadre a little comfort and convenience.”

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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 Amanda Hargett-Granato, 214-312-6048 or hargettgranatoam@aafes.com.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Shopper Wins $5,000 in Exchange Sweepstakes

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD – A military spouse was awarded a $5,000 prize by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service on July 6 at the McChord Exchange.

DSC_0744Michael Einer, Exchange general manager, presented a $5,000 check to Suhrhim Lee, of Spanaway, Wash., in the main store.

Lee was selected at random from more than 12,000 Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers worldwide who entered to win the Ford Gum Sweepstakes, which offered shoppers a chance to win a $5,000 trip to Chicago.

“When they first left me a voicemail to tell me I’d won, I thought it was a scam because I didn’t remember that I entered into a sweepstakes,” Lee said. “I didn’t call back, and when he called the next day I finally remembered I’d entered. I was in disbelief.”

Since Lee’s husband, Army Special Forces member Sgt. 1st Class Seungshik Lee, will be in Fort Benning, Ga. for training until at least November, Lee opted to take the prize’s cash value instead, though it will be earmarked in the family budget for a future vacation.

“Being in the Special Forces, my husband is deployed or off for training quite a bit during the year,” she said. “It’s always one thing after another. So any time we get to spend together is good.”

Einer said the Exchange is proud to give the prize to a military spouse who sacrifices so much in the name of protecting American freedoms.

“Enduring long periods of time away from her spouse, Ms. Lee is living proof that the military spouse is the backbone of the American military family,” Einer said. “This prize serves as a small token of our appreciation for Ms. Lee’s dedication to not only her family, but her country.”

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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.