Editor’s Note: This release was edited by Larry Lapka
AAFES Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Shopping Privileges Expansion • DALLAS
On Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) celebrated the first anniversary of the expansion of its shopping privileges,
The new privilege, which allowed 4.1 million service-connected disabled veterans to partake of the in-store shopping benefit, was specified in the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018, included in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019.
“Welcoming home service-connected disabled veterans with a lifelong Exchange benefit has been a bright spot during 2020,” said Exchange Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Shull, a Vietnam-era Army veteran. “Our nation’s heroes fought for us and deserve this benefit — and the Exchange is privileged to take care of disabled veterans through the in-person shopping benefit.”
According to AAFES, in-person shopping at military exchanges, commissaries and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) retail facilities on U.S. military installations was expanded to:
• All veterans with service-connected disabilities
• Purple Heart recipients
• Former prisoners of war (POW)
• Primary family caregivers for veterans who are enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
Before the expansion, only veterans with 100-percent service-connected disabilities could shop in person. Active-duty service members, their dependents and military retirees also have in-store and online privileges.
ENGAGING WITH THE MILITARY COMMUNITY
By shopping the Exchange, veterans also help those who wear the uniform today. One hundred percent of Exchange earnings are reinvested in the military community, including through dividends to quality-of-life (QoL) programs such as Child, Youth and School Services and Armed Forces Recreation Centers.
“Shopping with the Exchange gives service-connected disabled veterans a chance to re-engage with their military community, allowing them to remain Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members for life,” Shull said. “The Exchange provides value to the Veteran community and offers a tangible way to thank them for their service.”
Edited by Larry Lapka