Gerald Hoffman

WWII, Korea-Era Veterans Spread the Word about Tax-Free Shopping at

As the Exchange celebrated the first anniversary of welcoming home all honorably discharged Veterans with a lifelong online military exchange shopping benefit, World War II- and Korean Conflict-era Veterans are among those hailing the ability to shop on

These Veterans, now in their 80s and 90s, are the oldest among the more than 62,000 former service members who have shopped tax-free at, reestablishing a connection to their military community and making life better for those who serve today.

‘Thanks to all’

Nearly 12 percent of Veterans who have been verified to shop online with the Exchange are between 71 and 90 years old.

“This benefit truly thanks all who served our Nation, regardless of age,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, a Vietnam-era Army Veteran who worked to secure the change in Department of Defense policy to give all honorably discharged Veterans shopping privileges at military exchanges online. “The oldest Veteran to use the benefit is 98 years old and lives in Minnesota, proving online shopping is for everyone.

“It is such an honor to serve our World War II- and Korea-era heroes again.”

Telling all Veterans


Gerald Hoffman

Gerald Hoffman, 94, was drafted during World War II at age 18. He served as a control tower operator in the Army Air Corps until April 1946. Now, he turns to for anything he can think of.

“I try to use it as much as I can,” Hoffman said. “I’ve had no problems with it.”

Hoffman lives in a large senior living facility in Tucson, Ariz., which he says gives him plenty of chances to tell his fellow Veterans about the benefit.

“Every chance I get, talking to a guy who might be a Veteran, I always make a point to bring it to their attention,” Hoffman said.

‘Great inventory, good delivery time’

Willard Ammons, who served in the Air Force from 1947 to 1956, deploying to Japan and North Africa, recently bought a mattress set at

“They even set it up for me,” said the 89-year-old from Geneva, Ala., near Fort Polk. “Great inventory, good delivery time—plus good prices and no sales tax. I’m very pleased with the service.”


Edwin Perkins

‘Great service’

Edwin Perkins, 94, who served in the Coast Guard from 1942 to 1944, receives help from his son when shopping at

“It’s a great service,” said Perkins, who lives in Berkeley, Calif. “The Exchange has things I need that I can’t find anywhere else.”

Perkins’s son, Lance, says the Veterans online shopping benefit has been a game-changer for his father.

“Rather than go to a big-box store, Dad wants to check the Exchange first,” the younger Perkins said. “It has become his first option for everything.”

Fond of ordering cheese

Besides essentials such as mobility assistance devices and heating pads, Perkins also discovered the variety of food and snacks available at

“Dad is especially fond of ordering cheese,” Lance Perkins said. “He even got some a few weeks ago in preparation for the holidays.”

The assortment of items and quality of service are just some of the perks.

“The no-tax feature makes shopping the Exchange a no-brainer,” Perkins said.

‘Supporting the new guys coming up’

With 100 percent of Exchange earnings supporting the military community, including Quality-of-Life programs such as Army Child Development Centers and fitness centers and Air Force Outdoor Recreation activities, Veterans like Perkins are also reconnecting with their military community, remaining Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen for life.

“He knows he’s supporting the new guys coming up,” the younger Perkins said.

Veterans can determine their eligibility to shop at


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