FORT DRUM, N.Y. (March 29, 2018) -- Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Army and Air Force Exchange Service's senior enlisted adviser out of Dallas, visited Fort Drum March 27 to tour the AAFES establishments on post.

One of his first priorities upon arriving at the Fort Drum Exchange was to recognize some of the employees for their hard work and thank them for putting Soldiers and their families first.

"Since 1895, the Exchange has provided a lifeline to America's service members and their families," Reyes said, noting that 85 percent the Exchange 35,000-strong workforce has a military connection. "The Exchange is family serving family. Whether supporting troops downrange or here at Fort Drum, the Exchange is there to serve them."

During his visit, Reyes met with store managers and dined at some of the establishments. He also discussed with Command Sgt. Maj. Alfaro, Fort Drum Garrison senior enlisted adviser, how the 122-year-old Department of Defense retailer can better serve the community.

One way is by continually addressing the types of services Soldiers and their Families want, and the Fort Drum Exchange has recently introduced new offerings such as Boingo Internet, GoodYear car care and Panda Express - scheduled to open this summer.

"The Exchange is there for every Soldier when it comes to readiness and resiliency," said Reyes, one of about 30 active-duty service members assigned to the Exchange. "We are committed to providing exceptional service to the Drum community."

Additionally, the Exchange's online shopping site, ShopMyExchange.com, features 2 million items tax-free and with military-exclusive pricing. In November, the online military exchange shopping benefit was extended to all honorably discharged veterans.

"Competitive pricing and tax-free shopping make the Exchange a tremendous value for those who have earned the right to shop their Exchange," Reyes said. "If shoppers can't find what they need in-store, ShopMyExchange.com puts an expanded product assortment at their fingertips."

Reyes said that every time Soldiers shop at their Exchange, whether on post on online, they generate funds that support their own community. One-hundred percent of Exchange earnings support quality-of-life programs, to include Child Development Centers, youth programs and fitness center, and career opportunities for spouses, veterans and Wounded Warriors.

"Last year, the Fort Drum Exchange generated more than $1.3 million on behalf of quality-of-life programs," Reyes said. "Every time Soldiers shop their Exchange-including ShopMyExchange.com-they make Fort Drum a better place to live and work."