FORT HOOD – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is bringing a taste of home to Warfighters being quarantined at Fort Hood after recently returning from overseas.
The Department of Defense’s oldest and largest retailer set up a self-serve, 24/7 “micromarket” in the installation’s quarantine area on March 20, making snacks, cold drinks, fresh-packaged food and hygiene products available to about 500 Reservists and National Guard members. The quarantine is part of the DoD’s precautionary measures for troops returning from Southwest Asia, the Middle East and Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unique micromarket format allows troops to self-scan their purchases and pay by swiping a credit, debit or MILITARY STAR® card or using a smartphone app, eliminating the need for an in-person cashier in the secure quarantine area.
“As COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty, the Exchange is mission essential,” said Exchange General Manager Daniel Wise. “The Exchange is committed to supporting Soldiers, Airmen and military families, just as it has for nearly 125 years by serving troops on the home front, at the front lines—and now in quarantine.”
Exchange Services Business Manager Jeanne Young said quarantined troops have told her they are very happy to have access to the comforts of home while in quarantine. The micromarket is so popular, she added, that it must be restocked daily by the vendor, who dons protective equipment and only enters the quarantine area when no troops are present.
“This is the only avenue to get some of the hygiene products that they need and some of the snacks they want,” Young said. “The reactions of the customers and commanders have all been positive. Our micromarket is just more proof of the Exchange’s undying mission: we go where you go.
“These Guard members and Reservists are going through a very stressful time right now, and the Exchange is there to relieve as much of that stress as possible.”
The Exchange operates 40 micromarkets on 34 installations around the world, fitting with the organization’s holistic vision of providing BE FIT options that encourage better-for-you choices for troops. Micromarkets offer convenience to troops serving in small or secure facilities, where no dining options exist, or late into the night, after other restaurants and stores have closed.
Facebook-friendly version: The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is serving up snacks, cold drinks, fresh-packaged food and other necessities to troops quarantined at Fort Hood with a unique, self-serve “micromarket” concept. Troops can pick out, scan and pay for their products with a credit card or smartphone app, eliminating the need to staff the secure quarantine area with an in-person cashier. Read more: https://wp.me/p9Q7PG-1jq.