Two retirees have their Military Star accounts paid in full

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Two retired Vietnam veteran Airmen had their Military Star card accounts paid off by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service as part of its third annual Your Holiday Bill Is on Us sweepstakes.


Retired Chief Master Sgt. Ralph Barrett of Lakeland, Florida, and retired Master Sgt. Ronald Adams of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, were among the three grand prize winners who were selected randomly out of nearly 5 million entries worldwide to have their Military Star card accounts paid in full.  Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Graser of Tucson, Arizona was also a winner.  


All three winners used their Exchange Military Star cards during the holiday shopping season and had balances less than the prize of $2,500, so they received statement credits as well.  


“It’s a privilege to honor these deserving Military Star cardholders by paying their account in full,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted adviser. “Sergeant Graser, Chief Barrett and Sergeant. Adams are proof real heroes win at the Exchange. We’re looking forward to bringing this sweepstakes back for the fourth time during the 2017 holiday season. Just like in previous years, every swipe will be a grand-prize entry.”


For Barrett, who served for 30 years including in Vietnam, the win was a welcome surprise. He travels 100 miles round trip to shop the MacDill Air Force Base Exchange a couple times a month -- sometimes more. He had his small balance paid and received a statement credit of more than $2,400. 


“This is amazing,” the 78-year-old said during his prize presentation at the MacDill Exchange.


Adams, 67, also served in the Air Force during Vietnam. He spent 24 years in the military, spending most of his career maintaining C-130s. He had his small balance paid in full and received a statement credit of more than $2,200 during a ceremony at the Hurlburt Field Exchange.


“I was skeptical when I got the call,” said Adams, who shops the Exchange weekly with his wife, Kathy. “I had to trust but verify. When you see these contests, you say, ‘That’s someone else. It’ll never be me.’ It really was a surprise.”


The Military Star card is an exclusive line of credit for the military and their families to use at the Exchange no matter where military members serve. During November and December, shoppers were automatically entered in the sweepstakes each time they used their card to pay for purchases at any Army or Air Force Exchange location or on




The sweepstakes had 10 second-place winners, who each received $1,000 Military Star statement credits. Twenty-five third-place winners, including 95-year-old Helene Gonzalez, a widow of a Vietnam Army Veteran, received a $500 credit. Gonzalez received her prize alongside Graser at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Exchange.


Each holiday season the Exchange gives away a minimum of $30,000 to Military Star cardholders who use their card during November and December. Authorized shoppers can learn more about the MILITARY STAR card at