Archive for August, 2016

Who’s Your Real-Life Superhero? Let the Exchange Know for a Chance at $10,000 in Prizes

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

DALLAS – Day in and day out, Soldiers, Airmen and their families have real-life proof that superheroes exist. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Hasbro and Lindt Chocolatier are giving military shoppers a chance to tell about their real-life superheroes for their share of $10,000 in prizes.

In the Who’s My Superhero And Why contest, which runs from Sept. 1 to 30, Exchange shoppers can submit an essay and photo about their real-life superhero. Ten winners will each receive a $1,000 Exchange gift card.

87126_WK38_BoY_PosterThe worldwide essay contest is part of the Exchange’s 2016 Because of You program, which celebrates military families and honors active-duty troops, allowing the Exchange to express gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

“To find true heroism, we need to look no further than our service members and their families,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “Soldiers, Airmen and their families know better than anyone that superheroes do exist. I’m looking forward to hearing their stories.”

To enter, authorized Exchange shoppers 18 and older can send essays of 200 words or less to [email protected] A photo of the real-life hero must accompany the essay.

Entries must also include the contestant’s full name with middle initial; sponsor’s name, rank and branch of service; date of birth; mailing address; email address; and phone number.

Entries are limited to one per person. Winners of the Who’s My Superhero And Why essay contest will be notified by Oct. 30.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or [email protected]

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Named A Top Company For Latinas

Monday, August 29th, 2016

DALLAS – LATINA Style magazine has named the Army & Air Force Exchange Service one of the 50 best companies for Latinas to work, once again highlighting the Exchange’s commitment to diversity in the workplace.

The Exchange’s selection to the 2016 LATINA Style 50 was published in the magazine’s special August issue. Exchange Executive Vice President & Chief Merchandising Officer Ana Middleton will represent the Exchange at the magazine’s awards ceremony and diversity conference in Washington, D.C.,  early in 2017.

“This national recognition is a testament to the Exchange’s commitment to championing diversity,” said Middleton, one of the Exchange’s highest-ranking Hispanic women, noting that nearly 11 percent of the Exchange’s worldwide workforce is Latina. “Diversity in the workplace is crucial to ensuring the Exchange delivers the best service possible to America’s Soldiers, Airmen, military families and retirees.”

The Exchange has consistently been highlighted by LATINA Style 50 since 2008.

The Exchange was recognized after evaluation of more than 800 companies. The magazine’s annual rankings are considered a respected source of information for Hispanic women across the country.

LATINA Style 50 highlights companies that have a dedicated effort to diverse recruiting and promotion initiatives. The report also highlights companies that have programs to recruit veterans and military personnel.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or [email protected]

Exchange Gives Shoppers Chance to Win a Polaris RZR Off-Road Desert Vehicle

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 9.39.43 AM copyDALLAS – Shoppers with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service have the chance to get a taste of off-road action with their very own Polaris RZR desert vehicle this fall.

From Aug. 26 to Sept. 29, authorized shoppers worldwide can enter the Rockstar Polaris RZR sweepstakes at shopmyexchange.com/sweepstakes. One lucky winner will receive a Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 off-road vehicle valued at $22,299.

“The freedom of the open terrain, the up-and-down of the rugged earth, the flying dirt – what’s not to love about a good off-road adventure?” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “That’s why the Exchange is giving its shoppers the chance to get up-close-and-personal with the untamed thrills of the off-road. Enter now—after all, it may be you who ends up lucky enough to cruise Mother Nature in style this fall.”

The Rockstar Polaris RZR sweepstakes is open to authorized shoppers 18 and older. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A winner will be drawn on or about Oct. 7.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or [email protected].

Smart Car Up For Grabs In Latest Exchange Sweepstakes

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is teaming up with Promotion in Motion to put one lucky military shopper in the driver’s seat of a brand-new Welch’s Smart car.

88087_SmartCar_PosterFrom Aug. 19 through Sept. 30, authorized shoppers worldwide can enter the Promotion in Motion Sweepstakes to win the Smart car, valued at $15,000. Shoppers 18 and older can visit shopmyexchange.com/sweepstakes to fill out the sweepstakes entry form online.

“It doesn’t get much better than a brand-new car,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “By entering online, winning this sweet ride is just a couple clicks away.”

No purchase is necessary to enter the Promotion in Motion Sweepstakes. The prize drawing will occur on or about Oct. 7.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or [email protected]

Exchange Offering Improvements to OCONUS School Lunches This Year

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Netzaberg Middle School Lunch (10)

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service will implement several improvements to its overseas school lunch program this year.

Starting in the fall semester, the Exchange will expand menu options, bring in higher-quality food ingredients and implement a new electronic payment system.

The changes come in response to requests from students and parents and will enable the Exchange to serve a wider variety of students than previously possible, said Dora Rivas, school nutrition program specialist for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.

“It’s a big challenge to meet the needs of all of our students, and we have such a diverse population across the world with a lot of different unique preferences,” she said. “This will improve the offerings and hopefully please both students and faculty alike.”

The new payment site allows parents to deposit money to their child’s account from a centralized website that keeps up with the account balance from duty station to duty station. Parents can also access the website from the customer service desk at their local Exchange.

“It will be much easier for parents to make a payment there instead of having to go directly to the school,” Rivas said. “In the past, if the family moved to another duty station it was a manual process to get all the information about their account moved over to their next location. Now that our districts are consolidated, that information goes with the student wherever they go.”

Other changes include a greater number of vegetarian menu options and an improved food allergy tracking system that uses a centralized database to alert cafeteria workers if a child attempts to purchase something containing an allergen.

“We have worked to make sure that all the ingredients that we use are marked and identified in our upgraded system,” Rivas said. “Parents can even use the system if they don’t want their children buying certain types of items. Parents can also download the MyPaymentPlus app from iTunes or Google store for their mobile phone or tablets and have access on the go. It’s much faster and more comprehensive now that we have a fully automated system.”

Parents can go to MyPaymentPlus.com for more information about the app. The new menu will be released soon and will be available through local schools.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or [email protected].

Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Shopper Wins $5,000 Gift Card in Sweepstakes

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Promotion in Motion Sweepstakes Winner JBSAJOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH – A military retiree from Victoria, Texas was presented with a $5,000 Exchange gift card at the Randolph Exchange on July 22.

Martin Kocian, who served in the Army Reserve for 24 years before retiring at the rank of Sgt. 1st Class, was picked at random to win the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Promotion in Motion sweepstakes from nearly 20,000 entrants last month.

While Kocian said he regularly enters Exchange contests, the $5,000 gift card is by far the most valuable prize he’s won yet.

“You’re excited when you hear you’ve won, but until you get it you don’t realize how big of a deal it really is,” he said. “Then, when you finally hold it in your hand, the reality of it all sets in and you get really excited.”

Kocian said he and his wife, Geneva, have simply been spending the card as they go – though he wants to make sure he has enough left over to buy a diamond ring for Geneva.

“We ordered a camera and a few different things,” he said. “There are a few big ticket items and appliances that we need. We’ll put it to good use. It’s not going to go stale on me.”

Larry Salgado, general manager of the Randolph Exchange, said the Exchange is happy to provide shoppers like Kocian with the opportunity to win such valuable prizes.

“Offering our shoppers the chance to win something of serious value is just another way we seek to add value to the Exchange shopping experience,” Salgado said. “Our customers are heroes, and sweepstakes such as these are simply a small ‘thank you’ to those who work so hard to protect American freedoms.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or [email protected].

Barksdale Exchange Shopper Wins Vacation Prize Package

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

DSCF7189

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE – A 30-year Army veteran was presented with a vacation prize package worth more than $5,000 on July 30 at the Barksdale Exchange.

Jimmie Williams, of Shreveport, La., was selected at random from more than 12,800 Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers worldwide who entered to win a stay at one of more than 2,000 resort locations worldwide plus a Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 two-piece luggage set, Sony a6000 mirrorless camera and $2,500 Exchange gift card.

“When they first told me I won, I thought, ‘This must be a hoax to get my personal information,’ so I just deleted the email,” Williams said. “Eventually I called the manager to verify if it was real, and she said ‘yes.’ I still can’t believe I won. It’s just now setting in, to be honest.”

Williams, who served one tour of duty in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, retired in 2012 at the rank of Sergeant Major. Today, he works for the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs in Bossier City, Louisiana.

“When I got out of the Army, I wanted to do something that’s important, worthwhile and has meaning to it, and assisting veterans definitely fits that requirement,” he said.

Ellen Henderson, Exchange manager, said Williams is more than deserving of an all-expenses paid getaway courtesy of the Exchange.

“Mr. Williams has answered the call of duty not only as a Soldier but as a public servant dedicated to those who have, like him, fought to protect American freedoms,” Henderson said. “The Exchange hopes this prize serves as a small token of our appreciation for Mr. Williams’ decades of patriotic service.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or [email protected].

Top Winner in Exchange’s You Made the Grade Program Makes Her Final Entry Count

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Awards $3,000 in Prizes to Military Students  

 DALLAS – As a high school senior, Ashley Weston had one last chance at turning good grades into big rewards with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s You Made the Grade program. In her final semester of eligibility, her persistence finally paid off.

The 18-year-old took home the top prize in the Exchange’s semiannual sweepstakes, part of a program to reward military students for academic success. Ashley received a $2,000 Exchange gift card during a presentation at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Exchange on July 25.

image“It was a miracle, honestly,” said Ashley, who graduated this spring from Byron P. Steele II High School in Cibolo, Texas. “I didn’t think it would happen to me.”

The prize comes at the perfect time. Ashley starts college this fall at Texas State University in San Marcos. With her winnings, she plans to buy a laptop and other supplies needed to start her college career off on the right foot.

Ashley had been entering the You Made the Grade sweepstakes for years. Her father, retired Master Sgt. Darrell Weston, served in the Air Force for 24 years, retiring in 2011.

“For years we’ve gone to the BX to get the coupon booklet,” Weston said. “The program gives military kids the encouragement to do their very best.”

The worldwide sweepstakes also awards second- and third-place prizes. The West Point Exchange awarded a $1,500 gift card to a high school student. Third place, a $500 gift card, was presented to fourth-grader Logan Hicks at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base Exchange. Logan’s father, Capt. Wayne Hicks, has served in the Army for 13 years.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange senior enlisted advisor, praised the winners for their hard work.

“The Exchange is excited to reward these students for a job well done,” Applegate said. “Hard work in school pays off—and these winners prove that good things come to those who put in time and effort toward their education.”

Through the Exchange’s  You Made the Grade program, first- through 12th-graders with a B average or higher are eligible to receive a coupon book filled with Exchange discounts and a sweepstakes entry form for a shot at a $2,000, $1,500 or $500 prize. The program is intended to reward military students who excel in the classroom. Those who enter must be dependents of authorized Exchange shoppers. Shoppers can visit customer service at their local Exchange for a coupon booklet and sweepstakes entry form.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or [email protected]

Army Veteran Wins $5,000 Trip to Hawaii at Fort Polk Exchange

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Hawaii 4FORT POLK – When 10-year Army veteran J.D. Beltz entered for the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii through the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, he never thought in a million years he’d be the one to win.

“When they first called me to tell me I won, I didn’t believe it,” Beltz said. “I thought it was a prank call or it wasn’t true, because I never win anything. Once they sent me the email, that kind of validated it. My wife and I couldn’t believe it.”

Beltz, a medically retired Army sergeant and Desert Storm combat veteran living in Leesville, La., was selected from more than 16,000 Exchange shoppers who entered the Darrell Lea/Lucky Country sweepstakes. He was formally presented with his prize during a ceremony on July 29 at the Fort Polk Exchange.

“My wife and I are ready to go,” Beltz said, adding that they’re hoping to take the trip sometime in September. “We’ve already bought our Hawaiian shirts and shorts.”

Fort Polk Exchange General Manager Beth Pritchard said the Exchange couldn’t be happier to present the prize to someone who has sacrificed so much in the name of protecting American freedoms.

“The Exchange is deeply grateful for the bravery and patriotism exhibited by veterans like Mr. Beltz, who put themselves in harm’s way to make sure the future is safer for all Americans,” Pritchard said. “We hope this prize serves as a humble ‘thank you’ to Mr. and Mrs. Beltz for their sacrifice and the selfless love of country they embody.”

Beltz said he wants to send a message to the 22 service members who every day take their own lives – it gets better.

“It can be overcome,” he said. “Good things can happen, and there are better days ahead.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or [email protected].

Fighter Pilot Wins Harley-Davidson Motorcycle at Moody Exchange

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Dr Pepper Refresh, Win & Ride SWEEPSTAKES Contest Winner Kurt Cloutier on Bike 1MOODY AIR FORCE BASE – For Air Force Capt. Kurt Cloutier, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Refresh, Win and Ride sweepstakes came along at just the right time.

Having sold his motorcycle a couple of years ago, Cloutier was starting to get the itch for a new bike. With a brand-new chopper somewhat outside of the family budget, his wife began entering several motorcycle-centric sweepstakes.

With Cloutier skeptical they would win anything, it’s easy to imagine his surprise when the Exchange contacted him to say he’d won a Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight. He was selected at random from more than 11,400 entrants.

Cloutier rode the motorcycle out of the Moody Exchange on Aug. 5 following a ceremony attended by Col. Thomas Kunkel, 23d Wing commander.

“It was almost too much to process,” he said. “It was really cool, but it was completely unexpected. I was really excited about the fact that I was going to be able to get a bike, and the Sportster Forty-Eight is gorgeous. That’s the one I would have chosen to get anyway.”

Cloutier commissioned into the Air Force in 2009, attending the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado. A fighter pilot specializing in the Thunderbolt A-10C, Cloutier most recently flew in Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

“I definitely want to maintain my flying career and keep flying the A-10 as long as I can,” he said. “I want to be an instructor in that field and continue to teach people in the A-10. I’d really like to become a leader in the tactical community.”

The Exchange couldn’t be more proud to present the prize to a warrior and patriot such as Cloutier, said Stephanie Wilson, general manager of the Moody Exchange.

“In his role, Mr. Cloutier works hard and takes great personal risk to ensure the security of not only the American homeland but our allies all over the world,” Wilson said. “The Exchange hopes this grand prize serves as a small ‘thank you’ for the sacrifices Mr. Cloutier and his family make every day in the name of protecting American safety and liberty.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or [email protected].