These Exchange Veterans Ready for New Customers

Director/CEO Tom Shull, left, Chief Operating Officer Dave Nelson and Eastern Region stand with members of the Ship-from-Store group at MacDill AFB. This group is comprised of all Veterans.

MACDILL AFB, Fla. – Charles Burnette said he and his three teammates bring a unique perspective to the MacDill AFB Exchange’s Ship-from-Store department. It’s almost as if he, Tony Muldrow, David Prewitt and Jerome Richardson know what each other is thinking.

All four associates are Veterans—and who better to understand what Veterans think and want than those who served in the Nation’s armed forces.

“As a team of Veterans, we are just that: a team,” said Burnette, a 25-year Army Veteran. “We are all mission-oriented with a can-do attitude, encouraging each other with purpose, direction and motivation. No matter if we are shopping for our online customers or the customers who come into the store, we strive to give both the same experience and value them both equally.”

One of original Ship-from-Store locations

MacDill’s Ship-from-Store is one of 53 such locations throughout the world. To speed up delivery of products to online shoppers, the Exchange opened the first Ship-from-Store locations in 2016 at MacDill, Fla.; Nellis AFB, Nev.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; and Lackland AFB, Fla. The latest Ship-from-Store location opened Oct. 23 at Japan’s Yokota AB, the second one overseas; the other is at Ramstein AB, Germany.

All Veterans share a seen and unseen brotherhood. It’s a camaraderie shared and earned that cannot be bought or sold. We only want to ship the highest quality of merchandise via the most expedient means in the professional manner unique to the Exchange.

-Jerome Richardson

Meanwhile, when MacDill General Manager James Clark and Store Manager Lajima Marshall-Pierce were considering who would fit well on the Ship-from-Store team, the quintet of associates finally picked exhibited the skills Clark and Marshall-Pierce sought—and the group just happened to be all Veterans.

“Their individual, charismatic personalities and character instilled in them while in the military have carried over into the Ship from Store team,” Marshall-Pierce said. “’One Team, One Fight’ is their motto. I can depend on them to get the job done.”

“Our Veterans understand how active duty, Reserve, Guard, dependents and retirees feel when they walk through our doors as well as the importance of a welcomed greeting and the ability to provide the goods and services desired. They all have a vast logistical background, and that knowledge sets our Ship-From-Store team apart others. Their corporate and individual management and leadership skills in basic team building and task completion assist daily in the overall success of Team MacDill’s mission.”

‘A win-win situation’

Each associate received a coin recently from Director/CEO Tom Shull, who has made the success of the Exchange’s online shopping site one of the organization’s top priorities. Critical to that success are the Ship-from-Store locations, where associates pick, pack and ship online orders the instant they receive them, ensuring quick delivery to the customers.

Richardson, who retired from the Air Force after 26 years, said he can relate to Veterans who are shopping online regardless of whether he never met them.

“All Veterans share a seen and unseen brotherhood,” Richardson said. “It’s a camaraderie shared and earned that cannot be bought or sold. We only want to ship the highest quality of merchandise via the most expedient means in the professional manner unique to the Exchange.”

Burnette, meanwhile, is especially excited about the new Veterans online shopping benefit, and he and his teammates are ready to go with the extra business.

“The Veterans online shopping benefit is a win-win situation, and we, as a store and fellow Vets, are given the distinct pleasure to serve the heroes who came before us, paving the way for our generation and those yet to come,” Burnette said. “Not all of our Veterans are able to get out to shop in the store or live close to an Exchange, so it is our pleasure and honor to ensure they get items they ordered online in a timely matter.

“Jerome, Tony, David and I have a one mindset and work ethic: we help each other and we are here to serve a purpose.”

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