This Veterans Day AAFES and all online military exchanges will now be open to veterans. In years past, only currently serving military members and their families, and eligible military retirees could shop at AAFES stores. But AAFES adapts and changes with the times in a similar fashion to the military itself.
The Army/Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) operates department stores at U.S. military installations all over the world. These stores feature tax-free shopping, discounted goods, even a store credit card known as the Military Star Card.
Did you know that all honorably discharged veterans are eligible to register online and shop at AAFES the same way customers shop Amazon?
Veterans Can Sign Up To Shop Online At AAFES
The first thing honorably discharged veterans must do to register is to establish AAFES shopping eligibility via VetVerify.org. Applicants are required to submit verification of their military service, but it’s a very simple process. You’ll be asked to provide your full name, last four digits of your Social Security Number, date of birth, and a contact email.
Successful applicants are taken to a “Thank You!” page which includes notification of when veterans can start using this benefit. Spouse and dependents of veterans are not eligible however this probably won’t stop many from using the credentials of an authorized veteran to make purchases online.
Benefits Of Signing Up
Once a veteran is eligible to begin shopping online at AAFES stores, the perks include free stateside shipping on orders of $49 or more, tax-free shopping, and the option to sign up for a Military Star credit card.
What You Can Purchase
As with any “big box” department store, there is a variety of shopping options from clothes, toys and games to laptop computers and home stereo systems. But for some shoppers, one of the best features of AAFES online shopping is retaining access to the “Military” section.
It is true that many veterans won’t have any use for updated/upgraded BDUs or dress uniforms. But AAFES pricing and shopping choices for Leatherman multi-tools, boots, cold weather gear, and military-themed gifts definitely have an appeal for many. Veterans should know they will retain their ability to shop for these things and more.
Navy Vets Get Access Too
It’s true that the first three letters in the AAFES acronym stand for “Army” and “Air Force”, but Navy Exchange online shopping sites are also open to veterans who qualify.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.