November 19, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) offers a wealth of resources-some of which have been featured in this column before-for the military community and offers many programs for the public to support its freedom fighters. One of the classic ways the organization enables citizens to reach out to warfighters is through its gift cards and exchange catalog gift certificates. Anyone can purchase these items and send them to a specific military member or designate them for any service member, including injured warriors, for distribution by a service organization. AAFES is offering free shipping on the cards as well to avoid extra costs.

Anyone also can send Gifts from the Homefront certificates to military members-again to specific or "any" warfighters. These certificates are available in some lower and different amounts than the other gift certificates and cards, and they do involve a shipping fee. Gift cards and both types of certificates are redeemable at any AAFES as well as Navy and Marine Corps exchanges. The Gifts from the Homefront also are valid at the Coast Guard Exchange, and the catalog gift certificates can be redeemed for merchandise from the exchange catalog. All forms of cards and certificates can be purchased and sent through the AAFES Web site, via links on the home page.

For folks more interested in helping service members reach out and touch their loved ones, AAFES offers phone cards that are operable from Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. People not authorized to shop at military exchanges can view a comparison chart of how much each call costs per minute based on minutes purchased and can buy cards online; authorized exchange shoppers can purchase the cards through the online store.

AAFES does its own part to help the troops beyond asking the public to donate. The Web site includes a PCS Headquarters where military members and their families can find various resources on moving to a new assignment. The site includes a Patriot Family Connection area, which features military-themed contests and activities. Coupons, disaster preparedness information, sweepstakes and other helpful, eclectic items also are posted.

The programs listed on these pages are not affiliated with our publication or association. We highlight these independent efforts as a service to our military and our readers. For more information about these programs, please contact the organizations directly.

Share Your Thoughts: