DALLAS – As the Nation honors heroes during National Veterans and Military Families Month, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service continues to march toward its goal of hiring 50,000 Veterans and military spouses by the end of 2020.
“Veterans and military spouses are a vital part of the Exchange family,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “They understand the dedication and selfless sacrifice our Nation’s heroes make every day, and having them on our team is a force multiplier.”
Since 2013, the Department of Defense’s largest retailer has hired nearly 42,500 Veterans and military spouses. In 2018, the Exchange reaffirmed its commitment to hiring 50,000 Veterans and spouses by the end of 2020. The Exchange’s target fits with DoD priorities as the Army recently announced that spouse employment is one of its top quality-of-life goals.
At the Exchange, 85% of associates have a direct connection to the military. Nearly 12% of the workforce is made up of Veterans, 22% of associates are military spouses.
Katherine Warren, who works at the Tinker Air Force Base Exchange, is one of these spouses. Warren, who has 20 years of experience in retail, couldn’t get enough hours at a name-brand chain. The Exchange was her solution.
“A friend said ‘You should come over here. It’s so much better.’” said Warren, an Air Force spouse and supervisor of furniture, toys and the outdoor living area at the Tinker Exchange. “I made the leap of faith to come here, and I love it.”
The Exchange’s Associate Transfer Program lets military spouses continue their Exchange career, retain benefits and build toward retirement when their families make a permanent change-of-station move.
“The Exchange is more family-oriented,” said Warren, who started her Exchange career three months ago. “You’re working with people in the same situation that know your lifestyle. They understand when something happens to your family. It’s so much better.”
For Patty Dula, who retired from the Navy Reserves, military connections are one of the best parts of her job as an inventory control associate at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth Exchange.
While filling in at a register recently, Dula assisted a World War II Veteran who was wearing a Kaneohe Bay Hawaii shirt. Dula had also been assigned there during her time in the Reserves.
“Where else do you get to meet a gentleman that served on Iwo Jima,” Dula said. “It’s an honor to say I’ve met a few of the great ones. Now it’s the Vietnam Veterans, and we get to say thank you. A lot of them do appreciate it.”
Military spouses, Veterans and others seeking employment with the Exchange can visit ApplyMyExchange.com to find job openings worldwide.
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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 62nd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.3 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.
For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Eric Zarate, 214-312-3830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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