Steve Smith

125 Years of Family Serving Family – Ron McDuffie, Fort Polk

By Steve Smith / July 30, 2020 /

One in a series honoring the Exchange’s 125 years of family serving family To Ronald McDuffie, family serving family connects him to his roots planted deeply in his father’s military career. The late Henry McDuffie, a career Soldier, set a good example. “I’ve always admired his values to strive to be the best while being…

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The Exchange at 125: From Earthquakes to Hurricanes, Exchange Associates Have Been There

By Steve Smith / July 29, 2020 /

Dating as far back as 1964 when a killer earthquake struck Alaska, Exchange associates have deployed to the destructive scenes left in Mother Nature’s wake to serve those who served with recovery efforts. The disasters include raging forest fires in the Pacific Northwest; floods and volcanic eruptions around the world; 2005’s Hurricane Katrina; 2012’s Superstorm…

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The Exchange at 125: At One Time, the Exchange Couldn’t Sell TVs or Computers

By Steve Smith / July 28, 2020 /

Once upon a time, shoppers couldn’t find televisions or computers for sale anywhere in the Exchanges. Since 1949, the House Armed Services Committee and Department of Defense have regulated what the Exchange can sell. In 1986, the committee gave the Exchange permission to sell computers in 130 computer shops worldwide, which became known as “PowerZones”…

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125 Years of Family Serving Family – Steven Garcia, freight rate tech, Logistics Directorate, HQ

By Steve Smith / July 28, 2020 /

One in a series honoring the Exchange’s 125 years of family serving family Because of his lineage at the Exchange, Steven Garcia of the Logistics Directorate brings a unique perspective to family serving family. Dating back to the mid-1960s, nearly a dozen family members have worked for the Exchange and some are even working now.…

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The Exchange at 125: Who Remembers the ‘AAFES Burger?’

By Steve Smith / July 24, 2020 /

The Exchange’s foray into name-brand restaurants came in 1977 when Baskin-Robbins opened its famous ice-cream shop at Edwards AFB, Calif. In 1984, Burger King became the first name-brand burger restaurant to join the AAFES family, opening 185 BKs throughout the world on Army and Air Force installations. The first one was at Ansbach, Germany. Other…

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The Exchange at 125: For 65 Years, We Have Provided Nutritious School Lunches

By Steve Smith / July 24, 2020 /

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service dished up its first school lunches back in 1955 when school cafeterias opened on military installations in the United Kingdom. In 1980, the Exchange was designated the sole school feeding authority for the Army and Air Force. In 2019, the Exchange served 2.6 million meals in 76 Department…

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The Exchange at 125: The Exchange in Vietnam

By Steve Smith / July 23, 2020 /

In 1965, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service took over a handful of PXs from the Navy in Vietnam the day after Christmas. At the height of the war in the late 1960s, the Exchange served American Warfighters with 50 major stores, 1,800 concessions and 180 food facilities, from cafeterias to snack wagons. On…

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The Exchange at 125: Exchanges Have Come in All Shapes, Sizes

By Steve Smith / July 22, 2020 /

In its 125-year history, America’s Warfighters could always rely on the Exchange to be there for them, regardless of whether the “stores” were tents, pack mules, bamboo huts, mobile trucks, boats, choppers or spacious modern malls. In fact, the organization remains as relevant today as it was on the open frontier more than a century…

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The Exchange at 125: Outfitting America’s Heroes

By Steve Smith / July 21, 2020 /

Throughout most of the Exchange’s history, troops could buy military uniforms in the main stores, but the Army and the Air Force also carried them in their own outlets. To cut costs and combine operations, the military turned operations of its clothing stores over to the Exchange. During March through May 1976, the Exchange assumed…

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The Exchange at 125: Horseback Riding Schools, Drive-In Theater and Merry-Go-Round

By Steve Smith / July 21, 2020 /

Throughout its 125 years, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has offered just about any kind of service customers wanted. During the 1950s, Exchange concessionaires at Fort Hood and Fort Huachuca operated horseback riding schools. The Exchange even provided a merry-go-round for military children at Harmon AFB in Newfoundland, Canada. At Fort Dix in…

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