125 Years of Family Serving Family – Mary Belk, Fort Hood
One in a series of honoring the Exchange’s 125 years of family serving family
Growing up near Rock Island Arsenal, Mary Belk was always aware of the Exchange, even before her husband, Jay, enlisted in the Army. She began as a supervisor for a concessionaire at Rock Island in 2006 and worked there until 2009, when the family moved to Fort Bragg. In 2013, the Belks PCSed to Fort Hood, where Mary began working in the food court.
“While my husband was enlisted, it was a blessing to have a manager who understood that Army life sometimes throws curveballs, and management was willing to adjust my schedule when I needed it,” said Mary, who now serves as the food service foreman for Starbucks at the Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood. “When working with other military family members, there is an instant connection—an understanding and empathy that military families and the Exchange get.”
Prior to retiring from the Army, Jay had an internship with the Exchange as part of the Warrior Transition Unit. Following his internship, he was hired at the Fort Hood Exchange, where he worked full-time from 2015-2020. He started as a maintenance mechanic and was promoted to maintenance mechanic leader, where he helped build the current Fort Hood and Camp Humphreys Exchanges and remodeled several Exchanges throughout Central region.
“It was really neat to be able to talk about our days with each other and see him occasionally during my work day,” Mary said.
Working for the Exchange has been a family affair—son Andrew had his first job with the Exchange Burger King at Fort Bragg.
The family atmosphere is one of Mary’s favorite things about her Exchange career.
“I love the customers and talking with them,” she said. “I always enjoy hearing their stories and building a customer connection.”
Facebook-friendly version: In Mary Belk’s nearly seven years with the Exchange, she’s shared a workplace with both her husband and son.