Col. Karen Bond, Army & Air Force Exchange Service

Posted by John Hamilton on Sep 14, 2017
So, you have been deployed to Afghanistan.  You said goodbye to your spouse, kids and friends and moved to the most  different place you have ever been. Oh for a little bit of home.  That is when you learn about the X Change.  When you go there you find real Cokes and Snickers Bars and Lays Chips, all made in the good old USA and shipped to Afghanistan just for you and your buddies.  Who thought to do that?
The Army and Air Force knew they were turning your world upside down so they wanted to give you a small taste of home.  The result is the tenth largest retail network in the world.
 
Col. Karen Bond, Deputy Director for Logistics for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service explained how the system works and the services provided.  The Exchange is an organization of 35,000 associates and  2,500 facilities all over the world which ship thirty six million cases of the food to the local exchanges.  They are shipping American products to American service people and their co-workers.  They have $8.3 billion in revenue and net $384 million in profit.  They also return $225 million to the service people.  The profit is used to keep up with the latest distribution technology and the funds returned to the people is used for gyms, entertainment and other benefits.
 
Col. Bond described how she is responsible for the logistics, getting all of those cases delivered quickly and efficiently.  She has 350 drivers and they drive 12.5 million miles per year.  Part of her job also involves oversight and implementation of technology for transportation.  They aggressively use technology.
 
The Exchange is funded almost completely from revenue so little is needed from the federal coffers. 
The best news is that Col. Bond  also told us about a new service for all honorably discharged veterans.  After you verify your eligibility you can shop at any X Change.  This is all new and applies to any honorably discharged veteran.  Go to www.vetverify.org   and you can start using an exchange on Veterans Day, November 11.
 
For more information about the Rotary Club of Waxahachie where we believe in Service Above Self and doing things as a club we cannot do alone, visit the club web site at www.waxahachierotary.org .  You can find American flag subscription forms there. 
 
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