FORT RUCKER – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is debuting a new look at Fort Rucker—just in time for the holidays. The Exchange shopping center’s $13.5 million renovation brings modern convenience to more than 39,000 military shoppers.
Fort Rucker Garrison Commander Col. Robert Holcombe and Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Doss joined Exchange leaders including Chief Administrative Officer Tom Lozier, Central Region Senior Vice President Jesse Martinez, Real Estate Vice President Michael Smietana, Central Area Regional Vice President Beth Goodman-Bluhm and General Manager Brenda Hyland cut the ribbon Dec. 1 on the renovated PX.
“This modern store demonstrates the Exchange’s dedication to Fort Rucker, the people who live and work here, and the retirees and Veterans in the area as well,” Col. Holcombe said.
The upgraded food court includes the addition of Qdoba Mexican Eats and Starbucks as well as image upgrades to Subway, Popeyes and Charleys. In the PX, shoppers will find American Eagle, Aerie, Old Navy and other national brands. A BE FIT concept shop offering health and wellness products was added to the main store and the PowerZone section also received enhancements.
Other improvements to the shopping experience include new concrete flooring, lighting, ceiling tiles, wood trim, paint and fixtures throughout the complex, an upgraded HVAC system and renovated restrooms.
Rosaura Nino, wife of Warrant Officer Wolfgang Nino who is attending flight school at Fort Rucker, was one of the first shoppers in attendance to celebrate the grand reopening. “The project really came together, and it looks so nice,” Nino said. “This is my first time back in the store since construction finished, so I’m going to check out the holiday deals!”
The Exchange started the project in November 2020. Construction was completed in phases over two years. The project was funded by the Exchange, with the garrison supporting with $4.9 million.
“Today, we usher in a new era of service and support for the military community here at Fort Rucker and in Southeast Alabama,” Hyland said. “Today’s celebration demonstrates the Exchange’s continued commitment to serving those who serve.
When the Fort Rucker military community shops at the Exchange, they’re making their communities stronger: 100% of Exchange earnings are re-invested in military communities. About 60% of Exchange earnings support Quality-of-Life programs that support service members and their families. The Exchange’s remaining earnings are reinvested in improving the shopping experience, including renovating the Fort Rucker Exchange.
Military shoppers with in-store shopping privileges, including service-connected disabled Veterans and Department of Defense civilians, can plan for the holidays with added convenience with the buy online, pick up in store service and curbside pickup.
While browsing ShopMyExchange.com, shoppers can select items to pick up in store. Orders can be picked up at the customer service counter at the PX or delivered curbside.
In addition to shoppers with in-store shopping privileges, honorably discharged Veterans in the Fort Rucker area can verify their eligibility to shop the Exchange tax-free online, for life at ShopMyExchange.com/Vets.
The Fort Rucker Exchange shopping center, at 9214 Hutton Plaza, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 334-503-9044.
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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen, Guardians and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 54th-largest retailer in the United States. 100% of Exchange earnings support military communities. In the last 10 years, your Exchange benefit has provided $3.5 billion in earnings for critical military Quality-of-Life programs. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.
For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Keiana Holleman at 214-312-6514 or [email protected].
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Marisa is a PR executive and writer in the Public Affairs department at Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)