Military exchange enlists help of Wahlberg, Luttrell to promote veteran shopping

Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg and former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell have teamed up to tell veterans that they will soon be able to shop at AAFES stores again.

In an attempt to get more people to shop at the Military Exchange, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (or AAFES) has announced that they will begin opening up the Exchanges to military veterans, following a verification of their service.

Luttrell, a former SEAL who penned Lone Survivor and Wahlberg, who played him in the movie of the same name, released a short video on the matter, which has become the most-viewed video in AAFES history (which isn’t saying much), getting more than 700,000 views since Tuesday morning.

“All honorably discharged veterans are encouraged to visit,” Luttrell instructed, in order to confirm eligibility for lifetime Exchange privileges.

The shopping perk appears to only be applicable to online shopping, so veterans don’t need to worry about getting a pass to get onto bases and posts.

“Traffic into [the site that handles verification for the benefit] has spiked significantly since the video posted Friday morning, with 20,124 registrants and 9,638 veterans verified from Friday to Monday,” said spokesman Judd Anstey to Military Times.

Anstey also added that the two men donated their time to the cause.

AAFES “is grateful for Mark and Marcus taking time out of their busy schedules to do their part to ensure all of our nation’s veterans have the information they need to verify their eligibility to use the newly DoD-approved lifelong military exchange online shopping benefit,” he added.

While the benefit becomes official on Veterans Day, many prior servicemembers are being allowed to beta test the system by registering through and hitting the stores.

Active duty, retired, reserve, Guard and their family members are already eligible to use AAFES.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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