Veterans save $3.4 million in sales tax during first year of AAFES online shopping

Veterans save $3.4 million in sales tax during first year of AAFES online shopping

Dallas — Since the Army & Air Force Exchange Service welcomed home all honorably discharged Veterans to one year ago, more than 62,000 Veterans have used their new benefit to save on low-cost, name-brand merchandise while also saving nearly $3.4 million in sales tax.

“In its first year, the Veterans online shopping benefit has brought significant savings to all whoraised their right hand and vowed to defend our Nation,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, a Vietnam-era Army Veteran who worked to secure the change in Department of Defense policy to give all honorably discharged Veterans shopping privileges at military exchanges online. “This benefit acknowledges sacrifices and makes a real difference to them and their families.”

Since Veterans Day 2017, Veterans have been eligible to shop their military exchanges online tax-free for life. Veterans have placed more than 200,000 tax-free orders at, which offers more than 2 million items—including name brands—with military-exclusive pricing.

With 100 percent of Exchange earnings supporting the military community including Quality-of-Life programs like Army Child Development Centers and fitness centers and Air Force Outdoor Recreation activities, Veterans are reconnecting to the military community, remaining Soldiers and Airmen for life.

“The Exchange helps save money, and we feel good about it,” said Matthew Garnes, an Army Veteran from Bluffton, S.C., who served in the Army Reserve from 2010 to 2014. “Everyone is on a budget, and this is a great way to save a couple bucks and give back to those who are still serving.” 

Garnes and his wife, Carissa, shop at for everything from name-brand clothing and electronics to coffee and gifts for family.

“We have our dog food on an online subscription,” Garnes said. “I don’t even have to carry it out of the store.”

Michael Beaudoin, from Concord, N.H., appreciates the benefit, saying it serves as a thank-you for his time in Army.

“I served from 1975 to 1978,” he said. “Because I didn’t retire, I didn’t get any benefits. It’s huge to be able to shop with the Exchange again.”

Beaudoin volunteers with Pease Greeters, a group that welcomes troops home from deployment at Portsmouth (N.H.) International Airport. He connects with other Veterans and reminds them they are welcomed home to

“We had a Korean War Veteran who wasn’t aware he could shop online,” he said. “I walked him through it. I love spreading the word about this.”

Veterans can determine their eligibility to shop at

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