Military Retirees Win $12,000 in Prizes in Exchange’s ‘Because of You’ Drawing

DALLAS – Two military retirees had luck on their side in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Spend Free Spree contest, each taking home a share of $12,000 in gift cards.

Retired Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Gregory Woodward claimed the grand prize—a $10,000 Exchange gift card—during a presentation at the Andersen Air Force Base Exchange in Guam. DSC00030

For Woodward, the $10,000 prize was a bright spot during a trying time for he and his wife of 37 years, Rose. He learned he won right after his wife was discharged from the hospital after suffering from heart problems, for which she will need a pacemaker to regulate. 

“My elation was mixed with the seriousness of my wife’s situation, but we are very grateful and appreciate all the Exchange has done for us over the years,” said Woodward, who spent 24 years in the military, serving in the Navy and the Coast Guard, retiring in 2000.

He and his wife are traveling to Hawaii for more medical treatment and will wait until they return to Guam before spending their prize.

“We do 95 percent of our shopping on base, as the selection and prices are very competitive,” said Woodward, who spent most of his military career serving in Guam. “We plan to sit down when we return and discuss how to best use the gift card when things settle down.”

Retired Air Force Maj. Gerald Daub received a $2,000 Exchange gift card, the second-place prize, during a presentation at Fairchild Air Force Base. Daub is no stranger to winning contests.

“I had won a $100 gift card from the commissary a couple of years ago,” said Daub, who served in the Air Force for 24 years. “When I saw this Exchange contest, I thought, ‘Why not try again?’ ”

He and his wife, Loy, plan to put their winnings toward new items for their home.

“I did tell her to pick out something special so we have something to show for winning,” Daub said.

The Spend Free Spree contest, which received more than 11,500 online entries, was part of the Exchange’s Because of You campaign, a yearlong effort to recognize and reward service members’ sacrifice and dedication to our country.

“The Exchange is proud of these retirees for their service and sacrifice,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “Retired Chief Petty Officer Woodward and Retired Maj. Daub, like all who serve in the military, deserve our gratitude for everything they’ve done for our great nation.” 

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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 or follow us on Twitter at


Media Notes:


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