The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is starting a new program this year that will allow all honorably discharged veterans, in every branch of service, to shop tax-free online with the same discounts they used on base while serving. The move is expected to help the organization compete with major online retailers like Amazon by adding 13 million potential new customers, the Military Times reports.
“Extending online shopping privileges to all honorably discharged Veterans will directly improve family and support programs for Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members as well as their families,” the organization said in a press statement.
“Increased sales and earnings as a result of Veterans[’] online shopping benefit have the potential to generate tens of millions of dollars in additional dividends to Quality-of-Life programs. These funds decrease taxpayers’ burden to support services and programs on military installations around the world. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Coast Guard Exchange Marine Corps Exchange and Navy Exchange currently provide more than $300 million in support for military Quality-of-Life programs annually.”
“The intent is to really beat Amazon at their game because we have locations literally on the installations,” said CEO Tom Shull. “We're leaning toward not just ship-from-store but pick-up-from-store and eventually deliver-from-store.”
Veterans will be able to sign up for the discount at vetverify.org. The service will begin, fittingly, on Veterans’ Day, November 11.