Army and Air Force Exchange create micro-markets for quarantined soldiers

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Courtesy Photo(KWTX)
Published: Mar. 28, 2020 at 6:34 PM CDT
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Due to Coronavirus concerns, many soldiers and national guardsmen returning from deployment are going into two-weeks of quarantine before returning to their families.

In response, the Army and Air Force Exchange created micro-markets for soldiers in quarantine after returning from deployment.

The micro-market serves as a small grocery for soldiers. From snacks, cold drinks, fresh-packaged food and hygiene products, all are available through a digital cashier, paying by card or smartphone.

Since its inception, 40 micro-markets are up and running in 34 installations around the world.

As more soldiers are being deployed to high risk areas, like hospital units from Fort Hood that will soon head to New York and Washington State, Fort Hood Exchange Manager Jeanne Young says the micro-markets are here to stay.

"We actually are getting ready to implement two more markets on the main contonement for soldiers that will be quarantined," she said.

"These numbers are gonna continue to go up."

Even through the challenges and struggle in quarantine, soldiers have shown their appreciation.

"We get thanks all the time," Young said.

"The truth is, it's really not even necessary because that's what we're here for."

Fort Hood Public Affairs Director Tom Rheinlander says the Exchange's dedication really stands out.

"In these challenging times, these innovative ideas go a long way toward making it a bit more bearable."