Archive for December, 2016

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Named a Military Friendly® Employer

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

PrintDALLAS – For the fifth consecutive year, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has been named a Military Friendly® Employer by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines.

The 14th annual list honors companies based on their long-term commitment to hiring veterans, retention programs for veterans and policies on National Guard and Reserve service.

“The Exchange is family serving family, and part of that is recognizing the experience and talents that veterans bring to the table,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “Having been our customers, veterans bring a unique perspective to the Exchange team. We are honored to be recognized as a Military Friendly® Employer and will continue to recruit and hire from this pool of qualified candidates.”

The Exchange hired 1,239 veterans worldwide in 2016, and 12 percent of Exchange associates are veterans. To recruit veterans, the Exchange partners with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Warfighter Program, White House Joining Forces, Feds Hire Vets and the Army Reserve Private Public Partnership Office.

The Exchange was featured along with other companies earning the Military Friendly® Employer designation in G.I. Jobs magazine’s December edition. This is the fifth consecutive year the Exchange has been recognized as a Military Friendly® Employer.

Veterans and others seeking employment with the Exchange can visit www.applymyexchange.com to view job postings.

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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.

Follow the Exchange:
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange
Instagram: @shopmyexchange

Troops in Iraq Can Enjoy a Turkey Dinner This Holiday Season Thanks to Exchange, DLA

Monday, December 19th, 2016

turkeyBAGHDAD – While families around the world gather for the holidays, service members deployed to Iraq will be thousands of miles from friends and family.

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) are bringing a taste of home to American troops who will be serving in the Middle East during the holidays, deploying frozen turkeys from the U.S. to the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center (BDSC) and Baghdad Embassy Complex (BEC) Exchanges.

Thirty-six turkeys were delivered to Baghdad Exchanges in time for troops to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and stores still have plenty in stock for the holidays.

“It means the world to have the Exchange stocked with turkeys for the holidays,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Buelna. “I have spent many holidays away from my family during my military service and have been impressed with the commitment that the Exchange demonstrates to the armed forces.”

The Exchange has offered dry goods to service members in Iraq since returning to the country last year. It first began offering frozen beef in April through a cooperative agreement with DLA with cooperation from the departments of Defense and State. The arrangement allows frozen products to enter the country through DLA Troop Support’s transport lines for dining facilities.

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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.

Follow the Exchange:
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange
Instagram: @shopmyexchange

Exchange Brings Holiday Cheer to Young Service Members at Joint Base San Antonio

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

lacklandbmtJOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service helped Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors at Joint Base San Antonio bridge the gap from Texas to home with two holiday shopping events this month.

On Dec. 3, the JBSA-Lackland Exchange held a special event for more than 3,000 Basic Military Training recruits. The recruits, who are normally not allowed outside of their dorms when not training, were able to purchase, wrap and ship gifts home in time for the holidays.

Just a week later, the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Exchange held an event for Advanced Individual Training (AIT) students, many of whom were about to travel home for the first time in months. Discounts of up to 50 percent were offered on merchandise such as apparel, luggage, fragrance gift sets, handbags, holiday décor and candy.

The JBSA-Lackland event made an impact on service members like 23-year-old Air Force trainee John Strader, who is spending his first holiday away from his wife and two children in Claremore, Okla. He was able to not only ship gifts home for the holidays, but also for his daughter’s third birthday.

“Training has been demanding, but it’s probably one of the best experiences I’ve had yet,” Strader said. “I’m away from my flight right now due to an injury, but if I make it I know it will be good for the family.”

Both stores opened at 6 a.m. – two-and-a-half hours earlier than normal – for their respective events. At JBSA-Lackland, the recruits were taken from the Exchange to the BMT Reception Center, where ROTC volunteers and Exchange associates helped them wrap and ship gifts home. At JBSA-Fort Sam, Exchange associates helped students gift wrap their presents in the Exchange mall.

“The Air Force is a big family, and part of that family is the Army & Air Force Exchange Service,” said Col. William D. Fischer, commander of the 737th Training Group. “We need to teach these recruits that no matter where they go or where they are stationed, great mission partners like the Exchange will be there to help make life better.”

Both events allowed service members to line up and take photos with Santa, which could then be sent home to family members. Attendees were also able to cut loose on a DJ-powered dance floor at both events.

John Burk, general manager of the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Exchange, said his store’s event was a great example of family serving family.

“A lot of happy troops got one of their first experiences with the Exchange on Saturday,” Burk said. “I overheard one of the students talking to her mom on the phone about all the prizes and the dance-offs, and I know I would be one happy parent knowing that my kid was taken care of while they’re in AIT. It’s always an honor to serve these young service members as they launch their careers in the armed forces.”

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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.

Follow the Exchange:
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange
Instagram: @shopmyexchange

Exchange Shopper Recognized for Detailing Father’s Harrowing POW Experience

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

linda-andersonFORT BLISS – El Paso resident Linda Anderson has made it her mission to ensure nobody forgets the suffering—and strength—of the men who endured the Bataan Death March in April 1942.

Her father, Pvt. Clarence Neighbors, was one of the 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war who made the excruciating—and for many, deadly—65-mile march to Japanese POW camps in the Philippines during World War II.

So when the Army & Air Force Exchange Service announced its worldwide Who’s My Superhero and Why essay contest, she jumped at the chance to enter. Anderson, wife of retired Staff Sgt. Dave Anderson, who served for 22 years in Army, saw another opportunity to commemorate the sacrifice of her father and his fellow U.S. Soldiers—1,000 of whom never made it home.

“The horrors they saw—babies getting bayonetted, friends being killed, the beatings they got, being stripped naked and having to stand in 20-below weather—we should never forget that,” Anderson said. “That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as things that happened to them.”

On Nov. 16, managers from the Fort Bliss Exchange presented Anderson with a $1,000 Exchange gift card at the Fort Bliss Exchange. Anderson’s essay tracked her father’s journey from being shot down in a B-17 over the Philippines in April 1942 to being liberated from the lead mines in Kamioka, Japan, at the war’s end in August 1945. The 6-foot-3-inch Neighbors weighed 89 pounds upon his release.

“All too often, history remembers the broader event but forgets the individual stories of the people who endured untold suffering to protect not just Americans, but the entire world,” said Michael Brennan, general manager of the Fort Bliss Exchange. “The words Mrs. Anderson wrote about her father’s experience leap from the page in vivid, horrifying detail, reminding us that the true cost of freedom is often steep.”

Though Anderson had known her father was in the Death March since she was 16, he never said much about his time as a POW. Anderson knew he could speak some Japanese and that his prisoner number was 164. She also remembers the personality quirks she attributed to his time in the camps, such as checking refrigerators and cabinets for food whenever he would visit the homes of friends and family.

“When my father ate, it was almost like he was in a trance,” Anderson said. “He didn’t want to talk; he just ate. And the look on his face once he finished it—he was very satisfied. Many of the survivors have little idiosyncrasies like that.”

In 2010, Anderson attended the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, where she discovered a community of survivors, descendants and armchair historians who would help her piece together a more complete picture of  the nearly four years her father spent in captivity.

After the March, Neighbors was put on the hell ship Tottori Maru and taken to Korea, where he was transferred to an old Mitsubishi factory in Manchuria, China. There, he and the other men were forced to make tank and airplane parts. Her father was one of 150 men transferred to Kamioka after they were caught sabotaging the factory.

“Nothing was made to order,” Anderson said. “They would run the machines for a little while and they would put something in there that would destroy them. They would even bury tools in concrete. Even though they were in prison, our guys never gave up. They were the greatest generation—unbelievable men.”

Though Anderson’s father passed away in 1983 because of ongoing complications from tropical diseases and frostbite he contracted in the camps, Anderson has continued to champion the Death Marchers’ story, attending several reunions for survivors and descendants held annually in various locations across the country.

“It’s not just about my dad—they’re all my fathers now,” Anderson said of the survivors. “I think the biggest impression that a young child or teenager could have is to meet them and know really what happened. It’s really important. I don’t want anyone to ever forget.”

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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.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ to premiere for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

DALLAS – The holidays will be a little brighter for troops serving in the Middle East as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service will team with The Walt Disney Studios to bring “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” to service members in Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan.

Troops will be able to see the highly anticipated film during its initial run, continuing the Exchange’s longstanding commitment to bring first-run movies to troops deployed overseas.

The film will premiere on Dec. 16 in Baghdad, Iraq, and Bagram, Afghanistan. Additional showings in Iraq will follow at Union III on Dec. 17, Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center on Dec. 18, Erbil on Dec. 19, Taji on Dec. 20 and Al Asad on Dec. 22. The movie will also screen at the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center in Jordan on Dec. 18.

“We are thrilled to provide our service members a taste of home by bringing them this movie the same day it opens in the United States,” said U.S. Army Col. Geoff De Tingo, Exchange Europe Region Commander. “Last year’s screening of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ for deployed troops was very well received. We are excited to once again be able to offer a much-needed break from the harsh day-to-day reality these service members face while on deployment.”

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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 Pumping Up the Fuel Savings for MILITARY STAR® Card Users

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

DALLAS – With the busy, and expensive, holiday shopping season in full swing, Army & Air Force Exchange Service gas stations worldwide are helping to make sure that filling up doesn’t empty the wallet.

hickam-afb-express-1From Dec. 19 to Dec. 25, the MILITARY STAR® card is doubling the everyday 5-cents-per-gallon gas discount cardholders receive when fueling up at an Exchange gas station. For that week, drivers paying for gas with their MILITARY STAR® card will receive 10 cents off per gallon.

“As we head into the final holiday shopping week, we are providing an added incentive for last-minute shoppers to come on base or post to see what the Exchange has in store,” said Col. Karen Fleming, the Exchange’s Deputy Director, Logistics.  “The savings at the pump are just the beginning of the value authorized shoppers will find at their Exchange.”

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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 Unveils New Military Clothing Store at the Pentagon

Monday, December 12th, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the snip of a ribbon, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service welcomed its Military Clothing to new, more convenient home in the Pentagon’s second-floor retail concourse to better serve Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors.

“At the Exchange, we are family serving family,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 8. “This new home allows us to serve our Pentagon family better, and the move reflects our steadfast commitment to taking care of those who serve.”

best-dsc_0064The move brings the 3,400-square-foot Military Clothing store to Pentagon’s mall on the second floor, making it easier for service members and military leaders to find.

The Exchange has staffed a Military Clothing store at the Pentagon since March 1984. Since 2008, the store has been located in E Ring, away from the retail area. Air Force Services funded the move to the retail concourse. The store offers uniforms and alternations for all branches of service. Insignia, gifts, books, flags and souvenirs round out the assortment.

“This store in this location is truly about supporting the Warfighter,” said Mercedes Greene, facility project manager, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, who was integral in completing the project. “The store is more centrally located, so service members can find it much easier.”

Sajeel Ahmed, Director, Facilities Services, Washington Headquarters Services, applauded the Military Clothing Store’s move, noting that finding the previous location sometimes proved challenging..

“It’s a great location—moving from the fifth floor to the second,” said Ahmed, whose Facilities Services Directorate manages the space in the Pentagon. “It’s much easier locating this store on the retail concourse. If customers need anything, they can just walk in and get what they need.”

Staff Sgt. Dontae Skywalker, the operational NCO from the deputy director of the Army National Guard, browsed the store after the ribbon-cutting.

“The new location is excellent,” said Skywalker, who said he relies on the Exchange for uniforms, patches, ribbons, shoes and more. “It’s more convenient—it’s at the heart of where all the traffic is.”

Air Force Capt. Christopher Bright was trying on shoes during grand-opening day.

“I like that it’s right inside the main entrance,” Bright said “I don’t have to go all over the building to stop in for what I need.”

The new store is in Room 2D133. It’s open from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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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.

’Tis the Season to Save at the Exchange

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is ensuring authorized shoppers always find the lowest price this December with a holiday extended price guarantee.

From Dec. 1-24, all purchases made at the Exchange are guaranteed to offer the best value in town as shoppers who find an identical item elsewhere for less will receive an Exchange gift card for the difference.

“The Exchange wants to be military customers’ first choice this holiday season,” said Army Col. Karen Fleming, Exchange logistics deputy director. “This price guarantee, combined with our everyday low prices, price matching and tax-free shopping, should help lighten the load on shoppers’ wallet.”

To receive a gift card, shoppers should bring the original Exchange receipt along with a current local competitor’s ad. The holiday extended price guarantee includes shopmyexchange.com as compared to local retailers.

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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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