Archive for September, 2016

BOINGO BROADBAND’S EXCHANGE CONNECT INTERNET SERVICE CONTINUES EXPANSION ACROSS MILITARY COMMUNITY

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

DALLAS – The launch of Boingo Broadband Internet ‒ in partnership with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and its Exchange Connect Internet service ‒ at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) has hit a new milestone as the installation marked the fastest subscriber sign up rate at any new Boingo military installation to date. This comes just as the popular Boingo Wi-Fi service expands its service footprint at Army and Air Force installations across the continental U.S.

Within the first 24 hours of the Boingo service going live at USAF, utilization peaked at one gigabit per second ‒ the equivalent of 20,000 simultaneous Skype calls ‒ with more than five terabytes of data downloaded, the equivalent of 1,350 DVD-quality movies.

By year-end, Boingo Broadband service will be available at 35 Army and Air Force installations in the continental U.S. Boingo also provides Wi-Fi service to Marine bases throughout the United States and in Okinawa.

Boingo Broadband is a customized Wi-Fi service designed exclusively for barracks and dormitories. The service offers instant wireless access to high-speed internet and internet-based TV service (IPTV).  There are no contracts or installation appointments, and subscriptions are portable between served locations making it easy for service members to maintain connectivity during TDY or PCS moves.

“Boingo has installed Wi-Fi equipment at nearly 1,300 buildings with almost 1,500 miles of cable and fiber at a cost of millions of dollars since this program began—all to bring state-of-the-art wireless connectivity and IPTV to service members on Army and Air Force bases,” said Mark Verdeyen, director of the Exchange’s Advanced Telecommunications Division.  “And the response from the troops has been outstanding as we continue to expand the program to more locations.”

For military subscribers, the Boingo Broadband program features include:

  • Tiered internet service with speeds of up to 30 Mbps, perfect for high-bandwidth activities ‒ like online gaming, video streaming and Skype calling
  • IPTV “skinny bundle” packages with popular programming, sports channels and add-on options
  • Portability ‒ a subscription provides instant access at all military bases with Boingo Broadband service
  • Accessible from mobile or home devices
  • Free internet access at Boingo’s more than one million off base Wi-Fi hotspots at airports and public locations worldwide.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Exchange and its Exchange Connect internet service to provide a product uniquely designed and developed for our military men and women,” said Bruce Crair, senior vice president, operations for Boingo.  “From basic internet and core TV channels to premium packages providing enhanced entertainment options with blazing fast internet speeds for online gaming and streaming video, Boingo Broadband was built for the connected Soldier, Airman and Marine.”

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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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Panzer Exchange Associate Looks Back on Military Career Spanning Three Major Wars

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

mr-goldman-1-1PANZER KASERNE – Most people who encounter Jack Goldman know him only as a cashier at the Panzer Exchange—little do they know the stories that ripple under the surface from a military career spanning three decades and as many major wars.

Goldman, now 90, enlisted in the U.S. Army on Oct. 25, 1944. He had just turned 18 and was eager to contribute to the effort to defeat Hitler’s Germany and an Imperial Japan. He wanted to enlist earlier but was unable to get his parents to sign papers allowing him to enlist at age 17.

“When I was in high school, the big heroes were the guys who would come back to school in a uniform,” he said. “Every male student was chomping at the bit, anxious to get going.”

First, Goldman was deployed to Austria, which was under Allied occupation following the fall of Nazi Germany. He was assigned to the border with Germany, where his platoon monitored the huge influx of POWs and displaced Germans pouring back into the country.

“As I recall, the devastation in Germany was unbelievable,” Goldman said. “You drove through Frankfurt, and it was just block after block of mounds of rubble. There were some cities that weren’t touched, like Heidelberg, but any major cities were pretty well leveled.”

Goldman then left the Army in November 1946, taking a four-year break in the reserves before being called back to active duty in September 1950. He was deployed to Korea, where he manned the border between the newly fractured North and South Koreas as part of the 24th Infantry Division for 13 months.

“It was somewhat the same [as WWII], but I think there was more of a sense of urgency because of the tension between North and South Korea,” he said. “During duty in Austria, Austria and Germany weren’t at war. Here, there was more of a feeling that something could happen.”

Opting to remain active duty after Korea, Goldman’s next deployment came in 1967, when he was shipped out to Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. In 1971, he deployed to Vietnam a second time at the U.S. Army headquarters in Saigon.

“I never really was in combat [in Vietnam],” Goldman said. “It was more of a readiness force than anything. In Saigon, we were in a major headquarters. It was almost like stateside duty, to be honest. You lived well and you had nice facilities.”

Goldman’s last duty station was at the VII Corps headquarters in Stuttgart, West Germany, where he took his retirement in November 1978 at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4. Shortly after, he established the first ROTC program at Stuttgart American High School, where he remained as an ROTC instructor for the next 31 years.

After retiring from the school, Goldman looked to work at the Exchange not only as a way to stay busy, but to continue serving the military community.

“You see people coming through the register quite regularly, so every so often you run into someone who was in the ROTC program when you first started it at the high school, and they’ve already retired,” Goldman said. “Many times they’re field grade officers, many times they’re very successful in business, some are teachers. So it’s a nice feeling when they come in to touch base to see if I’m still working, to see how I’m doing.”

One soul whose military career Goldman certainly influenced is that of his son, 53-year-old Glenn Goldman, who graduated from West Point in 1984 before serving 30 years in the Army, retiring as a Colonel and deploying to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm.

“Today, he has a very, very good job at West Point as a GS civilian,” Goldman said. “You can imagine how proud I am of him.”

Sam Shinault, Panzer Exchange Main Store Manager, said Goldman’s example sets a bar for newer Exchange associates to work toward.

“There are people who say if you’re five minutes early, you’re late,” Shinault said. “Chief Goldman rides 45 minutes one way to work, and he’s here at least 30 minutes prior to the start of his shift every day. Being prompt, doing the many functions of a cashier and taking care of the customer is what he teaches by his actions.”

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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, Pizza Hut Give Back To Camp Foster With Free Concert By The Band Perry

Monday, September 26th, 2016

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA – For Staff Sgt. Matthew Wee, spending time at a free concert by The Band Perry brought him a little slice of America on a warm evening on Okinawa.

The Marine, who’s stationed at Kadena Air Base, and his friends were among thousands of who attended a free show by Grammy-nominated The Band Perry at the Futenma Flightline Fair. The sibling trio—Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry—played a free concert Sept. 24 for service members, their families and the Okinawa community. The concert was Camp Foster’s prize for winning the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s and Pizza Hut’s Wingapalooza contest earlier this year.

“It’s amazing,” Wee said of the free concert. “It’s a good opportunity for the different service members and the Japanese to come together on base. This brings a piece of home to Marines, Sailors and other service members here.”

To kick off the show, Exchange Pacific Commander Col. Scott Maskery addressed the crowd, thanking them for being part of a special night and expressing his gratitude for Pizza Hut and Marine Corps Community Services, which hosted the band as part of its fair.

“It’s a privilege to give back to service members and families—to take care of them when they’re far from home,” Maskery said.

Members of The Band Perry, making their first trip to the Pacific, were eager to play for the troops.

“This show tonight is important,” Kimberly Perry said. “We’re bringing a little bit of home to the soil here in Okinawa for our servicemen and women. There’s a lot of love coming off the stage tonight. We are so honored to bring a little bit of home over here.”

Hours before the concert, the band signed autographs and handed out swag to fans at the Camp Foster Exchange. Hundreds of fans began lining up nearly two hours before the meet-and-greet to make sure they got to spend a few moments with the trio.

Charla Jo Williams, whose husband, Dennis, has served in the Marines for 24 years, was the first in line.

“This is huge,” Williams said. “I’ve been here three years—we’ve never had anything like this here before.”

In line behind Williams, Amber Wood and her 9-year-old daughter, Kylie, were patiently awaiting their turn with the band. Wood’s husband, Terry, has been serving in the Army at Kadena since the end of April.

“This is such a small island, and our entertainment is limited,” Wood said. “It’s a big deal to have this band here for us.”

Marine Sgt. Daniel Burrell and his wife, Abby, were among a few lucky fans who got to meet the band backstage before the show.

“It’s nice of the band to come here and do this for us,” Abby said. “It feels more like we’re home…like America.”

The Band Perry spent the weekend getting to know more about the service members on Okinawa. The night before the show, they made a surprise delivery—a large Pizza Hut cheese pie and wings (for Wingapalooza, of course) to a Marine who had called in a dinner order. The day of the show, Marines showed the band an Osprey and other aircraft on the Futenma flightline, talking to the trio about their own roles in serving America.

The Exchange and Pizza Hut teamed up to bring the band to Okinawa. During May and June, Camp Foster’s “The Spot” Pizza Hut sold more orders of wings—8,829—than any military installation in the Pacific, earning a free concert for the community. In all, more than 700,000 wings were consumed during the Wingapalooza contest at military installations across the Pacific.

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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 You Made the Grade Program Rewards Academic Excellence for 2016-17 School Year

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

2016-2017_ymtg_booklet-coverDALLAS – Military students can turn good grades into rewards—and a chance at a $2,000 gift card—with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s You Made the Grade program.

Through the program, first- through 12th-graders who maintain a B average or better are eligible to receive a coupon booklet filled with free offers and discounts from the Exchange.

“For 16 years, the Exchange has been honored to reward military students who make it their mission to succeed in the classroom through the You Made the Grade program” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor.

“Service members’ children face unique challenges, including making multiple moves during their academic careers,” Applegate said, noting Department of Defense Education Activity reports that most military children move six to nine times before finishing high school. “These students deserve to be recognized for their achievements, and the Exchange is happy to thank them for a job well done.”

The You Made the Grade coupon booklet, which features new coupons for the 2016-17 school year, includes offers for free food such as a Burrito Supreme or Taco Supreme from Taco Bell; a small chicken Philly sandwich at Charleys; a Chicken Po’Boy at Popeyes; and a bacon double cheeseburger and small fry from Burger King.

Students who make the grade will also score at Snack Avenue with a free fountain drink, Yeti beverage, frozen drink or iced tea; free roller-grill hot dog, Tornado or Rollerbite; and complimentary 14-ounce Crystal Cool Cow milk.

The program helps students head to class in style with coupons for a free haircut, 10 percent off footwear and $5 off Under Armour apparel. All offers are valid through July 31, 2017.

The booklet also includes an entry form for the You Made the Grade semiannual sweepstakes. Scholars can enter to win Exchange gift cards worth $2,000, $1,500 or $500. Entries can be submitted twice a year, with drawings typically held in June and December. The most recent sweepstakes winners were students who shopped at Exchanges at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas; U.S. Military Academy, N.Y.; and Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich.

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 booklet for each qualifying report card.

Students and guardians can check with their local Exchange store manager for more information about the Exchange’s You Made the Grade program.

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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 Makes U.S. Veterans Magazine’s 2016 ‘Best of the Best’ List

Monday, September 12th, 2016

PrintDALLAS – U.S. Veterans Magazine has bestowed one of its highest honors on the Army & Air Force Exchange Service – a spot on its 2016 ‘Best of the Best’ list, recognizing employers, government agencies and educational institutions that support employment and business opportunities for veterans and spouses.

This year, the Exchange earned placement in the categories of Top Veteran-Friendly Companies and Top Supplier Diversity Programs. The Exchange has been named to the annual list every year since 2013.

“The Exchange is committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining veterans and spouses, and we are honored that U.S. Veterans Magazine recognizes our efforts,” said Leigh Roop, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for the Exchange. “Our veterans and military family members have made immeasurable sacrifices to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day—the least we can do is provide career opportunities for them.”

Employing veterans, National Guard members and reservists, and military spouses and family members is essential to the Exchange’s mission. Approximately 27 percent of the organization’s nearly 35,000 associates are military family members; 10 percent are veterans; and 2 percent are active duty, Guard or Reserve personnel working part-time during their off-duty hours.

The Exchange participates in veteran-focused career fairs, partners with organizations such as Hiring Our Heroes and Allies in Service, welcomes active duty military interns through the Operation Warfighter program, and collaborates with installation transition offices to recruit Soldiers and Airmen who are transitioning back into the civilian workforce.

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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.

Community Involvement Could Net Students a $5,000 Scholarship in Latest Exchange Contest

Friday, September 9th, 2016

DALLAS – Students who go above and beyond in making a difference in their community could reap a handsome reward for their service in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Rewards of Caring Scholarship contest.

To enter, authorized students in grades 6-12 with a 2.5 or higher GPA can submit an essay in English of 500 words or less explaining their involvement in the community and why their community is important to them. Four winners worldwide will each be awarded a $5,000 scholarship, courtesy of Unilever.

“Giving back and serving the community is important at any age,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “This contest gives the Exchange the opportunity to recognize and reward those students that are truly making a difference.”

Entry forms can be obtained at the Exchange or at www.OperationInTouch.com. The essay and entry form must be postmarked by Sept. 29, 2016 and mailed to:

AAFES Rewards of Caring Scholarship Contest

P.O. Box 7781

Melville, NY 11775-7871

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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 Back Fee-Free Layaway for the Holidays

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

DALLAS – Once again, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is offering fee-free layaway for Soldiers, Airmen, families and retirees who want to get a jump-start on their holiday shopping and keep gifts hidden safely out of sight from prying eyes.

Starting now, the Exchange will waive the $3 service fee for items that are placed on layaway and paid for by Dec. 24—including toys and bikes. Purchases of $25 or more are eligible for the layaway plan.

“By waiving the service fee, the Exchange is giving military shoppers extra incentive to consider layaway, both as a budgeting tool and as a way to keep snooping loved ones from finding their gifts before the big day,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “With a few months to go before the holidays, shoppers can start checking off their gift lists—and keep those presents safely hidden.”

A deposit of 15 percent is required to hold items on layaway at the Exchange. Shoppers can visit customer service for complete program details and eligibility information.

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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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