The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, which is non-appropriated fund entity of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), is debuting a new tractor-trailer design in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration program to honor Vietnam War veterans.
That “commemoration” program is administered by the Secretary of Defense to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, the group noted. It began honoring that war’s 50th anniversary in 2012 and will continue through Veterans Day 2025.
The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize Vietnam veterans and their families for service, valor, and sacrifice.
“The Exchange is privileged to have the opportunity to recognize Vietnam veterans through our fleet,” noted Tom Shull, Exchange Director/CEO, in a statement. “These trucks will serve as rolling billboards, expressing gratitude for all who served during this era.”
The vehicle design features the silhouette of a lone service member set against the background of a faded horizon with a call to “Thank a Vietnam Veteran for Service to Our Nation.” The single military member represents the warfighters who served during this time, the Exchange said.
In all, three tractor-trailers in the Exchange’s fleet will feature the commemorative design as they deliver merchandise to Exchange stores from the organization’s U.S. main distribution centers: The West Coast Distribution Center at Sharpe Army Depot in California; Dan Daniel Distribution Center in Newport News, VA; and the Waco Distribution Center in Texas. Each will have one of those Vietnam War honor vehicles in service on their standard delivery routes, the Exchange noted.
Air Force Veteran Pat Thompson served in Vietnam before coming to the Exchange as a truck driver and mechanic and said in a statement that the new design “means a lot to him.” In his 18 years with the Exchange, he has deployed four times to support the troops.
“They remember,” said Thompson, who is based at the Exchange’s Waco Distribution Center. “We want to be remembered.”
The tractor-trailers will also highlight the Veteran online shopping benefit, which launched last November – a “life-long” online military exchange benefit authorizes all who served honorably to enjoy tax-free shopping and exclusive military pricing at ShopMyExchange.com
The Exchange is the 56th-largest retailer in the U.S. and said its annual earnings providing $2.4 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years.