Exchange shopping generates $219 million for military quality-of-life programs

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Last year, the military community generated $219 million for critical quality-of-life programs as active-duty Soldiers, Airmen, military retirees and their families, as well as honorably discharged veterans, shopped through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

Over the last 10 years, Exchange shoppers have contributed $2.4 billion to support military child development centers, youth services programs, fitness centers and other programs that make life better for service members and their families.

One-hundred percent of Exchange earnings are invested in the military community, with about two-thirds going to dividends supporting quality-of-life programs and the remaining third used to improve the shopping experience in store and at  

“Shopping the Exchange puts money right back into our military communities,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted adviser. “This is what the Exchange is all about: Supporting our military members and their families.”

The 2017 $219 million dividend was generated in part by veterans, who were welcomed home with a lifelong online military Exchange shopping benefit introduced on Veterans Day 2017. By shopping the Exchange online, veterans make life better for those who wear the uniform today through increased dividends, while also enjoying the great shopping experience and savings they remember from their days on active duty, said AAFES officials. 

All branches of service benefit from shopping the Exchange. Because the Exchange also serves the Navy and Marine Corps at select stores and online, portions of the dividend are contributed to those branches’ quality-of-life programs. For 2017, the $219 million was distributed as follows:

Army: $124 million                         

Air Force: $76 million                    

Marines: $15 million                                

Navy: $4 million

The Exchange dividend is a key aspect of the organization’s mission to enhance the lives of service members and their families, said officials.  (Courtesy of AFFES News)