Exchange Honored for Army Emergency Relief Support

From left, Army Emergency Relief director retired Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason, Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, and Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army  Gen. Joseph Martin with the AER's 2022 Jack Ritchie Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented to the Exchange for its work in championing the AER mission of providing financial assistance to Soldiers and their families.

Army Emergency Relief (AER) is honoring the Exchange with its 2022 Jack Ritchie Distinguished Service Award.

From left, Army Emergency Relief director retired Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason, Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, and Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Martin with the AER’s 2022 Jack Ritchie Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented to the Exchange for its work in championing the AER mission of providing financial assistance to Soldiers and their families.

The Jack Ritchie Distinguished Service Award was established in 2014 and is named after an AER vice president who served the organization for 43 years. Recipients must “champion the AER mission of providing financial assistance to Soldiers and their families.”

To date, Exchange shoppers have donated more than $3.4 million to AER, which provides financial assistance, sponsors educational scholarship grants for military family members and offers community programs to make life better for Soldiers and their families.

Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull accepted the award from Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Martin and AER director retired Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason on behalf of the Exchange team at a special ceremony at the Pentagon.

“The AER and Exchange are fully aligned in their missions to strengthen the Quality of Life of Soldiers and their families,” Shull said. “The Exchange deeply appreciates the incredible work the AER team does for Army families. Team Exchange is truly honored to do its part to support such an incredible organization.”

In 2017, the Exchange, the Department of Defense’s largest retailer, partnered with AER to enable donations at Exchange stores and ShopMyExchange.com during special donation periods. In 2020, the Exchange implemented the giving option year-round in its stores and online. The result was a 1,000% increase in donations—as many Soldiers, retirees and Army families were turning to AER for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We cannot thank AAFES enough for partnering with Army Emergency Relief to support our Soldiers in need. AAFES epitomizes what Mr. Jack Ritchie’s Distinguished Service Award is all about: dedication to our Soldiers and their Families,” Mason said. “AAFES is now the eighth recipient of the award since its induction in 2014, and led by CEO Tom Shull, we are proud to be affiliated both in garrison and all around the world with such a deserving and outstanding organization. Congratulation to AAFES, Tom and all his amazing employees who help make Soldiers’ lives easier.”

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