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It pays to shop at the Base Exchange

Lari Sasser, Army & Air Force Exchange Service cashier, helps Bev Ackley checkout Aug. 27 at the Base Exchange on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Suellyn F. Nuckolls)

Lari Sasser, Army & Air Force Exchange Service cashier, helps Bev Ackley checkout Aug. 27 at the Base Exchange on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Suellyn F. Nuckolls)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The exchange benefit at Grand Forks Air Force Base is paying dividends in more ways than one.

Airmen shopping at the Base Exchange, getting gas at the Shoppette, dining at Burger King and using other Army & Air Force Exchange Service's activities last year generated a dividend of $263,533.

These funds are critical to Air Force Moral, Welfare and Recreation's ability to enhance local programs and facilities including the bowling center, swimming pool.

"AAFES' dual mission is to provide goods and services at competitively low prices and generate earnings to support MWR programs," said Pat Fields, Grand Forks AFB's BX manager. "As a result, the dollars that Airmen and their families spend at AAFES facilities generates a healthy return on their investment by directly improving quality of life services."

The duel benefit AAFES provides military families goes far beyond the clothes, electronics or consumables available at the Base Exchange. In fact, purchases made in the past 10 years have provided more than $2.4 billion to military MWR programs such as Youth Services, base functions and aquatic centers.

Historically, roughly two-thirds of AAFES earnings are paid to MWR programs. In addition to funding quality of life efforts, AAFES earnings are used to build new stores or renovate existing facilities without expense to the Federal government. Funds to contract these new or replacement facilities also come entirely from sales of merchandise and services.