For Veterans, Their Online Shopping Benefit is Finally Here!

Members of the 818th Engineer Company board their plane to leave for their upcoming mobilization.

In a matter of days, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, along with our sister exchanges, will give our Nation’s Veterans the homecoming their distinguished service deserves. This Veterans Day, the lifetime online military exchange shopping benefit will be a reality for 18.5 million heroes who raised their right hands, took the oath and served with honor.

We are making history. The Veterans online shopping benefit marks the first expansion of exchange benefits in nearly 30 years. This Nov. 11—a day that has been five years in the making—is a great cause for celebration for the Exchange, Veterans and all who wear the uniform today. All Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Coast Guard members who served with honor, no matter their length of service, can turn to for military-exclusive pricing and tax-free savings on name-brand products.

“By shopping their Exchange online, Veterans will be making a difference for today’s service members and their families.”

More than a quarter of a million Veterans have been verified to shop online—before the benefit even officially launched—and are reconnecting with their military community, allowing them to remain Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members for life.

For budget-constrained military Quality-of-Life programs, it’s finally time. By shopping their Exchange online, Veterans will be making a difference for today’s service members and their families. Increased earnings will support military Quality-of-Life programs, including Army Child Development Centers, Youth Programs and Fitness Centers, Air Force Outdoor Recreation programs, affordable school lunches for Warfighters’ children overseas, combat uniforms below cost and more. In three years, the Veterans online shopping benefit is expected to generate $20 million for these critical programs that are essential to military readiness and resiliency.

For Exchange associates, it’s finally time. Even before the Department of Defense approved the policy change in January, the Exchange team was preparing to welcome home our Veterans to ensure we could provide a shopping experience capable of truly honoring their service. Merchandising, eCommerce, IT, Logistics, Human Resources and other directorates have leaned forward like never before to ensure a smooth launch of this historic benefit.

The online shopping experience has been transformed with welcoming Veterans home in mind. Our customers have noticed the improvements- sales are up 18 percent vs. prior year.  This summer, our online site became faster, easier and more robust. Today, 30,000 authorized customers of all stripes (active-duty personnel, retirees and their families as well as Veterans) can shop simultaneously!

Our CONUS distribution centers have been reimagined as e-commerce fulfillment centers, with associates picking, packing and shipping online orders same day. In our brick-and-mortar locations, 53 main Exchanges designated Ship-From-Store sites are fulfilling orders.

“For those who never received a ‘thank you for serving,’ it’s finally time.”

For those who never received a “thank you for serving,” it’s finally time. While serving in the Army as a platoon leader at Fort Carson, I saw many Soldiers return broken from Vietnam. The American public did not understand their sacrifices—and these heroes often did not receive the homecoming they so rightly deserved. Offering this shopping benefit is another way to honor the selfless sacrifices of those who serve—especially those who have served multiple tours but fell short of meeting the 20-year criteria required for retiree status.

The Denver Post recently described Army Veteran Jose Torres as a fan of the Veterans online shopping benefit. A beta shopper, Jose bought hundreds of dollars in name-brand clothes for his daughters, perfume for his wife and tools for himself.

“Once I know there is something I need, I’m always looking on ( first before I go anywhere else,” Torres told the Post. “To me, it means a great deal. It means they are actually looking out for the Veterans.”

For all of us, it’s finally time. Thank you for spreading the word about the Veterans online shopping benefit. Thank you for working tirelessly to prepare for this milestone. Thank you for your commitment to serving Soldiers, Airmen, families, retirees—and now, all honorably discharged Veterans. We couldn’t cross this finish line without you. On Nov. 11, we finally will.

Finally, to all who served honorably, we can say, “Welcome home!”

Soldier For Life! Veteran For Life! Exchange for Life!

Veterans standing by the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Director/CEO Tom Shull played a key role in the building of the wall. To see a video of this story, go to the Exchange Facebook page.(VA/Reynaldo Leal)

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1 Comment

  1. wallace gaylord on February 4, 2021 at 11:57 am

    thank you for your help

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