WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department announced Friday that veterans will soon be able to shop online at military exchanges.
The policy change will extend limited online military exchange shopping privileges to all honorably discharged veterans of the military, DOD officials said in a news release. The shopping benefit will go into effect on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2017.
While shopping privileges will exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol and tobacco products, privileges will include shopping on the Exchange Services' dynamic online retail environment, the release said. The change follows careful analysis, coordination and strong public support, according to officials.
"We are excited to provide these benefits to honorably discharged veterans to recognize their service and welcome them home to their military family," said Peter Levine, performing the duties for the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
"In addition, this initiative represents a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to help fund morale, welfare and recreation programs in support of service members' and their families' quality of life. And it's just the right thing to do," Levine added.
The online benefit will also strengthen the capacity of the exchanges' online businesses to serve current patrons. The inclusion of honorably discharged veterans could double the exchanges' online presence, according to DOD officials, thereby improving the experience for all patrons through improved vendor terms, more competitive merchandise assortments and improved efficiencies.
"As a nation, we are grateful for the contributions of our service members," Levine said. "Offering this lifetime online benefit is one small, tangible way the nation can say 'thank you' to those who served with honor."