Making spirits bright: Nearly $109,000 in Exchange layaways paid in full for 374 military shoppers

U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mark A. Kauffman
U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mark A. Kauffman

Making spirits bright: Nearly $109,000 in Exchange layaways paid in full for 374 military shoppers

by Conner Hammett
Army & Air Force Exchange Service HQ

CAMP FOSTER – Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers in the Pacific were treated to an early holiday surprise when they learned their layaways had been paid in full.

Exchange shoppers in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Hawaii and Guam joined a video call Dec. 14 for the big reveal, delivered by celebrity guest and Marine Corps Veteran Montel Williams. The paid-off layaways totaled nearly $109,000, encompassing all 374 active layaways in the Exchange’s Pacific Region.

Master Sgt. Brett Myers was among the shoppers who tuned in for the reveal. Myers, an Engineering Craftsman with the 718th Civil Engineer Squadron, put a laptop on layaway at the Kadena Air Base Exchange as a gift for his wife, Misti, who recently started online college in pursuit of a degree in medical administration.

“I was absolutely shocked,” Myers said of the reveal. “I can’t believe I was selected. I am still overwhelmed.”

The shoppers’ layaway balances were paid off by nonprofit Pay Away the Layaway.

“Warfighters and their families in the Pacific make enormous sacrifices to serve this Nation, and we are very happy to celebrate this unexpected gift with them,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Kovalchek, Exchange Pacific Region commander. “This welcome surprise will make the Christmas and holiday season all the more special this year.”

Facebook-friendly version: All 374 active layaways at Army & Air Force Exchange Service stores in the Pacific have been paid in full in a special holiday surprise for Warfighters and families in the region. Read more here.

 

Photo Caption:
Air Force Master Sgt. Brett Myers, Engineering Craftsman with the 718th Civil Engineer Squadron, and his wife, Misti, pose for a picture with Flor Payton, Kadena Exchange main store manager, after Brett surprised Misti with a MacBook Pro. Brett used the Exchange’s layaway program for the first time to purchase the laptop for Misti, who is pursuing a degree in medical administration. On Dec. 15, Brett was invited to a video call with celebrity and Marine and Navy Veteran, Montel Williams. During the call, Williams announced that all Exchange layaways in the Pacific Region, including Brett’s, were paid in full by nonprofit Pay Away the Layaway.

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