Veterans could soon be allowed to shop at military online exchanges

A customer makes his purchases at the AAFES mini mall on Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. (Photo: Army)

A DOD board has voted unanimously to recommend a policy change that would extend online shopping privileges to all honorably discharged vets.

Until now, those privileges were only available to active-duty service members, reservists, National Guard personnel, retirees, veterans who are 100 percent disabled and immediate family members.

If this change takes effect however– possibly by Veteran’s Day 2017– then service members who were honorably discharged would have access to the online stores. They would not, however, have access to brick-and-mortar facilities located on military installations, according to Military Times.

These exchanges, which operate as discount department stores for the military community, currently serve only about 10% of our nation’s vets.

Back in 2014, Army and Air Force Exchange Service CEO Tom Shull proposed the idea to extend the privileges as a way to provide a ‘modest benefit’ to vets who didn’t serve long enough to retire from the military. Shull says that group includes a number who have served multiple tours in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Analysts say, if the online shopping is extended to all vets, the exchanges could take in four times the amount of money. An increase in profits would generate more funds for the service’s morale, welfare and recreation programs, the Times article stated.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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