The Army & Air Force Exchange Service officially welcomed Wahlburgers to the military family with a preview party hosted by famous brothers and restaurant co-founders Mark Wahlberg and Paul Wahlberg and local franchisee Nino Cutraro.
“We love the troops, and we can’t wait to officially open for the troops at Ramstein,” said Mark Wahlberg, who, along with his brother Paul, made a special appearance at the restaurant inside the Exchange’s Kaiserslautern Military Community shopping center. “Bringing a taste of home to these men and women is incredible.”
Hundreds of service members and their families crowded inside the Exchange food court for a glimpse at the brothers, who came to KMCC to check out the restaurant before it officially opens next month. The Wahlbergs posed for pictures and shook hands with the audience, thanking them for their service.
Col. Scott McFarland, Exchange Europe/Southwest Asia commander, highlighted the morale boost Wahlburgers will provide to those serving overseas.
“This restaurant means so much to service members and families—a slice of America has come to Ramstein just for them,” McFarland said. “Having Mark and Paul Wahlberg here just before the holidays is big morale boost. They have brought smiles to so many faces today.”
Master Sgt. Mae Arguello and her 10-year-old son Calvin arrived at the Exchange at 8 a.m., hours before preview party. They were first in line, and the Wahlburgers team even put Calvin to work stocking a merchandise table.
“We wanted to be first in line, and we were prepared to camp out all day,” said Arguello, who serves with the 52nd Fighter Wing protocol office at Spangdahlem Air Base. “This does so much for our morale. We love the opportunity to live overseas and serve our country—it’s an amazing honor and opportunity. But we miss the comforts of home. It’s so nice to come to the BX and have familiar restaurants and American-style things available to us.”
The KMCC Wahlburgers officially opens in January. A second location is set to open at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in 2020, and more locations are planned.
About the Exchange: 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 62nd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.3 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. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration.