Beginning this Veterans Day, Nov. 11, military exchanges gave about 18.5 million veterans worldwide and their families a little something special: tax-free online shopping for life.
Until now, only those on active duty, in the National Guard, the Reserves, retirees and those who were 100 percent disabled could shop online.
This highly anticipated change by the Department of Defense grants online exchange shopping privileges to our nation’s brave veterans.
Tom Shull, Army & Air Force Exchange Service director and CEO, whose idea was to expand the online shopping benefit to honorably discharged veterans, said this marks the first change to the Department of Defense Armed Services Exchange Regulation that governs who receives limited and full privileges at American military installations since 1990.
The policy currently covers 12 million active-duty members and retirees. About 18.5 million veterans will be eligible to shop online.
Their spouses and children, estimated at 10 million, can benefit indirectly as the veterans can shop for them. Shull said the AAFES’ customer base could swell up to 40 million customers once the change takes effect.
“We are delighted to extend this benefit to all veterans that served honorably,” Shull said. “Our veterans now have the opportunity to shop for national brands at a significant discount of 20 to 30 percent at our brick-and-mortar stores, (known as PXs and BXs) and with our online shop.”
“We are proud to support this new DoD policy, and are honored to offer our NEX online privileges to our nation’s deserving military Veterans. It is one small way to thank those who have served,” said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi (Ret.), Navy Exchange Service Command’s chief executive officer.
“The Navy Exchange gives back 100 percent of our profits to our sailors and their families through contributions given to Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation for quality of life programs and NEX store infrastructure. Therefore, we look forward to expanding our customer base of online shoppers, which will in turn help grow our merchandise assortment and continue to strengthen our ability to provide dividends for base MWR programs.”