Army & Air Force Exchange Service and U.S. Army Partner to Open ‘Wounded Heroes Service Center’

MEDIA CONTACT: Judd Anstey
MEDIA ADVISORY: 13-003
RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2013

DALLAS – After more than a decade of war, the military continues to adapt to the changing needs of servicemembers. Even the 117-year-old Army & Air Force Exchange Service is adjusting to address new realities as it opens a new facility designed specifically for wounded warriors.

Just a short drive from Landstuhl Medical Center, the military’s largest hospital outside of the United States, the Exchange partnered with the Department of the Army to open a first-of-its-kind facility for wounded Soldiers in Kaiserslautern, Germany at Kleber Kaserne.

“Many injured servicemembers come to Landstuhl with little more than the clothes on their back,” said the Exchange’s Military Clothing Manager at Kleber Kaserne, Deniz Barcala. “Since 9-11, thousands of troops have been bused to our warehouse to pick up clothing, footwear and more after being evacuated from a war zone. About a year ago, Army and Exchange leadership decided we could serve these heroes better.”

The resulting “Wounded Heroes Service Center,” with handicap accessible dressing rooms, bathrooms and entrance, is a first for the Exchange. Now open, the new Military Clothing store is for the exclusive use of patients being treated at Landstuhl Medical Center.

“The opening of this facility is another example of the Army’s continued investment in the care of our wounded servicemen and women,” said the Commanding General of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command Maj. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee.

“Out of 3,100 operations worldwide, the Exchange has nothing else like it,” said the Exchange’s European Commander Col. Fredrick Hannah. “Because they are bused in, visitors have a limited amount of time to pick up new gear. Beyond having a facility that is easier to navigate, we also have associates who shop with the servicemember, put items in their cart and even pack their merchandise up for the bus ride back. Everything about the experience is designed to make getting a new uniform quick and easy.”

The Exchange’s “Wounded Heroes Service Center” officially opened on January 16, 2013. The facility offers a full assortment of uniforms, gloves, hats, boots and duffel bags.

— 30 —

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

###

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Judd Anstey, 214-312-3861 or Anstey@aafes.com.