FORT WORTH, Texas – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is using its presence at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl to remind Veterans of their online and new in-store tax-free shopping benefits.
Before kickoff, Southern Mississippi and Tulane fans picked up giveaways and took photos in front of the Exchange’s newest truck design, which features Americana-style artwork created by Air Force and Marine Corps Veterans.
“The Exchange is honored to be at the Armed Forces Bowl, reminding Veterans of their hard-earned benefits,” said retired Lt. Col. Jose Hernandez, Exchange Veterans service organization/military service organization outreach manager. “Our goal is for every eligible shopper to know the Exchange is there for them.”
On Jan.1, the Exchange began welcoming home 4.1 million Veterans with service-connected disabilities, Purple Heart recipients, Veterans who are former prisoners of war and primary family caregivers for Veterans who are enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. The expansion of privileges was specified in the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018, included in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2019.
Since November 2017, honorably discharged Veterans have been shopping tax-free at ShopMyExchange.com, saving more than $8 million in sales tax. A national ad reminding Veterans of these benefits and the new in-store shopping privilege aired during ESPN’s broadcast of the Bowl for the Brave.
Air Force Veteran Ricky Jones drove to Fort Worth from Abilene after winning a pair of tickets to the game from the Dyess Air Force Base Exchange.
“We’re having a blast,” said Jones, who served for 22 years. “It’s good to see all the patriotic people out here. It’s good to see the unity.”
Jones applauded the new benefit for disabled Veterans, Purple Heart recipients and eligible caregivers.
“They deserve this,” he said. “It means a lot to me, and I’m looking forward to seeing them come in.”