If you’re in the market for some deals, check out the 125th anniversary sales of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. We’re also catching you up on new dental clinics, back-to-school savings, a new layaway policy, and more.
*From July 24-30: At exchanges on Army and Air Force bases and online at ShopMyExchange.com, shoppers can save up to $125 on certain Sony cameras, iPad pro, Fitbit, Garmin and Samsung watches, Ashley furniture and certain cribs, car seats and strollers. Also, save 25 percent on certain vacuums, school supplies, sports nutrition items, Conair, Ace Goody Hair and Revlon products.
*On July 25, the 125th anniversary of AAFES: Shoppers can save 25 percent off all men’s Nautica, Columbia and Carhartt apparel, all women’s Lucky Brand apparel, all handbags and wallets — including Coach, Michael Kors and Vera Bradley — and all Oakley sunglasses. In the food courts, all combo meals will be discounted $1.25.
*Doubling tax savings on back-to-school items: Military shoppers never pay tax in their exchange stores, but AAFES is offering to match local sales tax discounts in states that are offering tax-free sales on certain back-to-school items such as clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks. In 16 states, computers and other qualifying electronic devices can be purchased tax-free. So AAFES is offering the extra percentage off at stores in these states, equivalent to the local sales tax rate. The discounts are in-store only. The states have different time frames for the sales tax discounts, up through Aug. 16-22 in Connecticut.
New dental offices opening
DOCS Dental opened an office at Fort Eustis, Va., July 14, in partnership with AAFES. DOCS Dental is scheduled to open five more clinics between now and Nov. 3 at certain Army and Air Force bases. The clinics will offer cleanings, digital X-rays, endodontics, oral surgery, crowns and bridges, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics and Invisalign, and treatment for Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
Tricare Dental, FEDVIP, and most insurance plans are accepted.
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The Fort Eustis clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
The next openings are scheduled for:
*Fort Campbell, Ky., July 21
*Fort Bragg, N.C., July 28
*Fort Benning, Ga., Aug. 11
*Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 1
*Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Nov. 3
AAFES teamed up with a local provider in South Korea to open a dental clinic at the end of June at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys there. It’s AAFES’ first overseas dental office.
There are also currently dental clinics at AAFES locations at Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Stewart, Ga., in partnership with Coast Dental.
AAFES expands layaway in back-to-school season
Through Aug. 31, exchange shoppers can use layaway to hold computers, notebooks, tablets and iPads, items that aren’t usually eligible for the program.
A $3 service fee and deposit of 15 percent are required to hold the items, and items must be picked up by Aug. 31.
AAFES and commissaries now sell each other’s gift cards
Commissary gift cards from $5 to $300 are now available at certain AAFES stores for purchase. And AAFES gift cards from $5 to $1,500 are available at commissaries. The gift cards must still be redeemed at their respective agency (a commissary or exchange), in stores or online. AAFES gift cards can also be redeemed at Navy and Marine Corps exchanges.
Get your masks with your groceries
Like the military exchange stores, commissaries are now selling reusable and disposable face masks. These brands and types are available:
*Hanes: 10-pack, reusable, adult size, three-ply 100-percent cotton, washable up to 20 times
*Midwesttrading: KN95 one-pack disposable mask and a 10-pack, four-ply mask, adjustable fit, inner layer contains air filter
*Puna Noni: Available only in Hawaii commissaries, reusable, three-ply cotton/poly shell, removable felt filter
New donations policy at AAFES stores
AAFES shoppers can now donate year-round to Army Emergency Relief or the Air Force Assistance Fund when they check out in-store or online at ShopMyExchange.com. Previously this option was offered during select times of the year. Since 2017, AAFES shoppers have donated nearly $800,000 to these organizations at the register during these select times.
Shoppers can donate in increments of $1, $5 and $10 in stores, or can enter a specific amount. Online donations can be made in $5 increments during checkout.
“AER and AFAF take exceptional care of soldiers, airmen and families navigating difficult times, such as during the recent upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tom Shull, director and CEO of AAFES, in an announcement.
Air Force Aid Society is one of four charities that benefit from the Air Force Assistance Fund. “Exchange shoppers have been generous with their donations,’ said retired Lt. Gen. John D. Hopper Jr., CEO of Air Force Aid Society. “Every dollar given is a helping hand to airmen and their families in need.”
AAFES customers “continue to be a huge supporter of our mission of helping members of the Army family,” said retired Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, AER director, in the announcement. “The option of year-round giving in [AAFES] stores further strengthens this fantastic partnership and allows AER to expand assistance to soldiers and their families.”
About Karen Jowers
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families.” She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.