Story by Marisa Wolfe on 04/10/2018DALLAS The Exchange Credit Program made the beginning of 2018 a little brighter for 40 winners of the annual MILITARY STAR card Your Holiday Bill Is On Us sweepstakes.
The Exchange Credit Program paid more than $43,000 toward shoppers' MILITARY STAR card balances in its fourth annual sweepstakes. Five grand-prize winners had their balances paid in full, while 10 second-place winners received $1,000 statement credits. For third place, 25 winners received $500 statement credits.
The sweepstakes saw nearly 6 million entries from authorized shoppers using their MILITARY STAR cards in person at military exchanges; online at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's ShopMyExchange.com and myNavyExchange.com; and at commissaries worldwide.
"Each year, this sweepstakes proves that real heroes walk away as winners," said Exchange Credit Program Senior Vice President Jami Richardson. "It's a privilege to honor our cardholders' service and sacrifice through the Your Holiday Bill Is On Us sweepstakes. We look forward to this every year, and we are excited to bring the sweepstakes back for the 2018 holiday season."
Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer David Auxier was the sweepstakes' biggest winner. During a presentation at the Whiteman Air Force Base Exchange, he took giant scissors to an oversize statement, symbolizing his $8,100 MILITARY STAR card bill being wiped clean.
"When they first told us, we were in shock that we had actually won," said Auxier, who has a son in college and 11- and 13-year-old girls. "We use the MILITARY STAR card for a lot of major purchases as well as at Christmas time. Having this bill paid off creates breathing room in our budget and helps out for those unexpected things that come up. This has been a huge blessing."
The sweepstakes also helped 1st Lt. Blake Jones, who is attending the Army Logistics University captains career course at Fort Lee, and his young family. Jones made his winning purchase at the Fort Lee commissary after PCS'ing from Fort Wainwright right before the holidays. His account balance of $5,200 was paid in full during a ceremony at the Fort Lee commissary, which became the first commissary in the world to accept the MILITARY STAR card in October.
"We know there are other families that are struggling and hope we can use this to pay it forward as well," Jones said.
Three other grand-prize winners, Benjamin Neusbaum, a DoD contractor at Camp Foster in Okinawa; retired Army Col. Edward Lynch of San Antonio; and retired Army 2nd Lt. Glenn Kipper, a Vietnam Army Veteran from Farmers Branch, Texas, each received a $2,500 statement credit.
The MILITARY STAR card is an exclusive line of credit for service members and their families to use at exchanges and commissaries no matter where they serve. Shoppers automatically received a sweepstakes entry every time they used their MILITARY STAR card from November through December at any Army & Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard exchange facility; ShopMyExchange.com or myNavyExchange.com; or at any commissary worldwide.
For a list of winners and information about the MILITARY STAR card, visit MyECP.com.
Facebook-friendly version: The Army & Air Force Exchange brightened holidays by paying off more than $43,000 in MILITARY STAR credit card bills during its 4th annual Your Holiday Bill Is On Us sweepstakes. Learn more about the winners: https://bit.ly/2v3EnHL.
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About MILITARY STAR: The MILITARY STAR credit card program offers affordable and responsible credit solutions to the military community. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service operates the MILITARY STAR program on behalf of the military resale community.
About the Exchange: Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen 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 56th-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.4 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. 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.