Army and Air Force Exchange Service

In the six months since the Army & Air Force Exchange Service officially expanded online shopping privileges to all honorably discharged Veterans, more than 50,000 former service members have used the new benefit, saving an average of 20 percent off MSRP and avoiding a total of $3 million in sales tax so far.

“With the national average sales tax being 8.5 percent, the Veterans online shopping benefit offers significant savings to all who raised their right hand and took an oath to defend our Nation—no matter how long they served,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, a Vietnam-era Army Veteran who worked tirelessly to secure the change in Department of Defense policy after joining the Exchange in 2012. “This benefit is a modest way to thank all who have served and welcome them home.”

The Veterans online shopping benefit, which launched on Veterans Day 2017, marked the first expansion of military exchange privileges since 1990. Veterans have used their new benefit to order nearly 500,000 items at ShopMyExchange.com—tax-free.

On ShopMyExchange.com, Veterans find a wide assortment of national-brand at an average savings of 20 percent off MSRP. Shopping the Exchange online reconnects Veterans with their military community, allowing them to remain Soldiers and Airmen for life.

Dan Sacco, a Vietnam Veteran who lives in Trumbull, Conn., had been without an Exchange benefit for nearly 50 years, after leaving the Army in 1970. When he shops with ShopMyExchange.com, he knows he is making a difference to service members and their families.

“This is an incredible benefit to offer,” said Sacco, who has shopped ShopMyExchange.com for electronics, clothing, gifts and more. “There’s no taxes, no shipping charges with a MILITARY STAR card, and it supports the military. It’s better than Amazon. There’s no negative.”

Every purchase Veterans make online improves life for service members and their families as 100 percent of Exchange earnings support programs including military uniforms at cost; school lunches below cost for Warfighters’ children overseas; Child Development Centers; Youth Programs; Fitness Centers; and career opportunities for spouses, Veterans and Wounded Warriors. In the last decade years, the Exchange has distributed more than $2.4 billion to critical military Quality-of-Life programs.

To verify eligibility and begin shopping, Veterans can visit ShopMyExchange.com\veterans or VetVerify.org.

Facebook-friendly version: In the six months since the Army & Air Force Exchange Service officially expanded online shopping privileges to all honorably discharged Veterans, more than 50,000 former service members have used the new benefit, saving an average of 20 percent off MSRP and avoiding a total of $3 million in sales tax so far. Read more: https://bit.ly/2rRsSOQ

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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 56th-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.4 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

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05.17.2018
Story by Julie Mitchell
Army & Air Force Exchange Service HQ


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Patriot Boot Camp

Patriot Boot Camp (PBC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to equip active duty military members, Veterans, and their spouses with the education, resources, and community needed to be successful technology entrepreneurs.

The objective of Patriot Boot Camp is to provide service members, Veterans, and spouses with access to mentors and training to help them innovate and build the next generation of high-growth, scaleable and impactful companies. Patriot Boot Camp leverages a nationwide network of business and startup community thought leaders to help entrepreneurs bridge the gap between military service and entrepreneurial life.

Patriot Boot Camp was founded by Taylor McLemore as a volunteer effort organized under the startup accelerator Techstars to address the gaps in support military members, Veterans, and their spouses often encounter as technology entrepreneurs.

The first Patriot Boot Camp event was held in 2012 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Subsequent events were held in 2013 at the George Washington University School of Business, and in 2014 at Goldman Sachs in New York City and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in Madison, Wisconsin.

Many sponsors, mentors and supporters helped PBC grow into a successful catalyst for helping military Veterans and spouses launch into technology entrepreneurship. In fall 2014, PBC became an independent program and filed for 501(c)(3) non- profit status.

FOLLOW THIS LINK
to learn more about Patriot Boot Camp

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Vet Center Program

The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems. Vet Center Programs are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In April 1991, in response to the Persian Gulf War, Congress extended the eligibility to veterans who served during other periods of armed hostilities after the Vietnam era. Those other periods are identified as Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Kosovo/Bosnia.
In October 1996, Congress extended the eligibility to include WWII and Korean Combat Veterans. The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. On April 1, 2003 the Secretary of Veterans Affairs extended eligibility for Vet Center Program services to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and on June 25, 2003 Vet Center eligibility was extended to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and subsequent operations within the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).
The family members of all veterans listed above are eligible for Vet Center services as well. On August 5, 2003 VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi authorized Vet Centers to furnish bereavement counseling services to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service members who die of any cause while on active duty, to include federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel.

ELIGIBILITY:

Any Veterans and active duty Service members, to include members of the National Guard and Reserve components, who:

Have served on active military duty in any combat theater or area of hostility*
Experienced a military sexual trauma;
Provided direct emergent medical care or mortuary services, while serving on active military duty, to the casualties of war, or;
Served as a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat zone or area of hostility.
Vietnam Era veterans who have accessed care at a Vet Center prior to January 1, 2004

Vet Center services are also provided to family members of Veterans and Service members for military related issues when it is found aid in the readjustment of those that have served. This includes bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death.

CLICK HERE to learn how the Vet Center Program can help you.

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Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.
For over fifteen years, we have provided programs that offer: RELIEF (through critical financial assistance and transitional housing programs), RESILIENCY (through permanent housing and caregiver support services) and RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services throughout the year that help military families overcome the short-term bumps in the road so they don’t become long-term chronic problems. Operation Homefront has consistently earned high ratings from leading charity rating services, including Charity Navigator, which gave OH 4 Stars for 10 consecutive years for superior service and accountability.
At Operation Homefront, 92 percent of expenditures goes directly toward delivering programs and services to the military families who need it most.

By connecting the American donor community to our military families through a robust array of valued and life-changing programs that address the specific short-term and critical assistance, long-term stability and recurring support needs they experience, Operation Homefront is able to help military families overcome many of the challenges inherent in military life. The result: stronger, more stable, and more secure military families. Our programs include:

SHORT-TERM CRITICAL ASSISTANCE (RELIEF)
Financial assistance* for food, utilities, home repairs, rent/mortgage payments, etc.

Rent-free transitional housing for wounded service members

LONG-TERM STABILITY (RESILIENCY)

Mortgage-free homes awarded across the U.S.

RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT

Hearts of Valor caregiver support program

Baby showers to help new military moms welcome the newest member of the family

Homefront Celebrations to recognize military spouses

Holiday programs to provide meals and toys

Backpacks filled with school supplies for military kids

*Emergency financial assistance is in the form of checks paid directly to mortgage lenders, auto mechanics, contractors, hospitals, doctors, and other providers.

To learn more about Operation Homefront, FOLLOW THIS LINK
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Feed Our Vets

Since 2008, Feed Our Vets has provided free food assistance to more than 20,000 Veterans and their family members, distributing 445,000 lbs. of food.

Feed Our Vets is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help Veterans in the United States, their spouses and children whose circumstances have left them on the battlefield of hunger, and to involve the public in fighting Veteran hunger. We do this through:
– Community food pantries that provide regular, free food distributions to veterans and their families
– Distribution of related goods and services.
– Public education and outreach,

More than 130,000 Veterans are homeless and hungry on any given night in America. One in three homeless people in America is a U.S. Military Veteran. And nearly four million Veterans and their families don’t have enough to eat during the year. We provide food for veterans throughout the US.

Feed Our Vets local solution is to establish Feed Our Vets Food Pantries in cities and towns across the United States.
Some of the food and groceries are purchased by Feed Our Vets, but most of the food for veterans is donated by local food manufacturers and grocery stores. Feed Our Vets pantries distribute free food and groceries at regular, scheduled times to U.S. Military Veterans in need and their families.
We strive to provide healthy food for veterans in need.
We need your support because our nation’s military Veterans have served and sacrificed for our freedom. Many are returning from war to a weak economy, and struggling with injuries, both physical and mental. Too many Veterans are ending up jobless and homeless. Too many are going hungry. We believe it is our duty to give back to these men and women who have given so much for our country.
Feed Our Veterans (DBA Feed Our Vets) is a registered 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization, Tax ID 26-3108361.

To learn more about Feed Our Vets can help, FOLLOW THIS LINK
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