Exchange shoppers keep Air Force communities strong

  • Published
  • By By Tom Shull, Exchange Director/CEO

As warfighters, retirees and their families navigated the COVID-19 pandemic through 2020, your Exchange leaned forward to deliver safe, sanitized and secure shopping to Air Force families worldwide.

As the Exchange did its part, Airmen and their families did theirs. In 2020, Exchange shoppers generated $48 million in dividends for critical Air Force quality-of-life programs by shopping at their local Exchange or at

With 100% of Exchange earnings supporting Air Force communities, it truly matters where you shop. In the past 10 years, the Exchange has contributed $2.1 billion to programs that support readiness and resiliency, including Armed Forces Recreation Centers and more.

As the pandemic drove widespread economic disruption, Exchange shoppers also opened their hearts to Airmen and Air Force families in need, donating nearly $1 million to the Air Force Assistance Fund at cash registers and in 2020 -- a 1,000% increase vs. 2019.

As the Exchange marks its 126th year of serving those who serve, it is important to remember that you and your family play a critical role in supporting the quality of life for Air Force communities. With the support of military communities and sound financial management having seen the Exchange through the challenges of 2020, your hard-earned Exchange benefit is poised to be even stronger in 2021 and beyond.  (Tom Shull, a former infantry company commander, served as military assistant to Robert C. McFarlane, National Security Adviser to President Reagan. Currently, he is the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's Director/CEO and has served as CEO for retail and consumer packaged goods companies.)