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Post exchange benefits hard to measure with receipt

Children decorate pumpkins during last year’s annual Fort Rucker Oktoberfest at the festival fields. Soldiers and their Families enjoy several free events throughout the year thanks, in part, to AAFES dividends from PX earnings. (File Photo)

Children decorate pumpkins during last year’s annual Fort Rucker Oktoberfest at the festival fields. Soldiers and their Families enjoy several free events throughout the year thanks, in part, to AAFES dividends from PX earnings. (File Photo)

Published: September 12, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 12, 2014) -- Soldiers and their Families rely on the Post Exchange to help their dollar go further, but exactly how far it goes to impact quality of life at Fort Rucker is hard to measure with a receipt.

Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs are bolstered by two-thirds of the PX’s earnings, thanks to a Fort Rucker Army and Air Force Exchange Service program.

AAFES dividends go a long way to support various events and services throughout the community, according Don Walter Jr., PX store manager.

“DFMWR puts on many events at no charge to include Freedom Fest, Children’s Festival, Oktoberfest, Christmas tree lighting and Lake Fest,” Walter said. “Earnings also helped purchase new recreational travel trailers, new busses for before and after school transportation, new auto craft repair equipment, new lane and table seating and replaced bowling pins at the bowling center.”

Renovated stables clubhouse, new boat dock at Lake Tholocco, new sofas and mattresses in cabins, new pool furniture at SPLASH!, newly renovated DFMWR Central (formerly leisure travel office), tee and fairway renovations on the Silver Wings Golf Course, new embroidery machine at the arts and crafts center, a new band saw in woodshop, new banquet tables in the Landing, and renovation of the Landing foyer and entrance were also made possible by AAFES dividends, he added.

“Without AAFES dividends, DFMWR would be unable to do most facility improvements or replace equipment vital to its operations,” he said.

Shopping at the PX allows Families to save on everyday items. But shoppers might not be aware of numerous other benefits.

“No taxes every day with every purchase,” Walter said. “We also have a shuttle program capable of getting a product from one of AAFES’ many main exchange facilities at no charge. Customers also enjoy the convenience of a location within the installation versus leaving the installation to purchase everything from zero-turn lawnmowers, a gallon of gas, or a loaf of bread, to a slice of pizza.”

Savings aside, customers also enjoy a 14-day price guarantee on any item originally purchased from the PX. If an item is sold at a lower price by the PX, or any local competitor, the price can be matched up to two weeks after the purchase.

In the past, AAFES dividends paid back to the community facilitated several post improvements Soldiers and Families still enjoy. In 2009, the PX underwent a facelift. The firearms and ammo department and its selection of electronics were expanded. In 2011, the Burger King was remodeled from the ground up.

But what should the community expect future earnings to provide?

“New deck furniture and awning at Divots, a new ball drilling machine at the bowling center, renovated partitions and walls in The Landing, golf driving range and greens renovations, automatic carwash dryer and lights, new televisions for Mother Rucker’s, new televisions for cabins, a zip line at the Lake Tholocco swim area, and an alignment machine at auto crafts center,” Walter said.

Evy Bludsworth, DFMWR deputy director, added that shopping at the PX is essential to supporting the community.

“AAFES dividends help DFMWR support Soldiers and their Families through better facilities and equipment,” she said.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/133587/

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