There’s a new veterans benefit online.

As of the first of January 2020, honorably-discharged veterans are eligible to shop online at Military Exchanges.

Organizers said, “The Exchange – the Department of Defense’s oldest and largest military retailer – is honored to serve all honorably discharged veterans with a lifelong online military exchange shopping benefit.”

Copy this link into your browser and take a look:

Veterans’ online shopping benefits include

tax-free shopping, military-exclusive pricing, members-only credit options, free shipping on orders over $49 or more and free shipping on any amount when you use your MILITARY STAR™ card.

I think that I’d like to use this service myself rather than drive the 32 miles to our local Army base.  

Here’s a further heads-up about our second annual Armed Forces Appreciation Day on May 16 this year.

We honor all veterans at this event, but this year we are focusing on Vietnam veterans since this was the largest group in attendance last year. The barbecue lunch will be provided by the same chef – Harold Merritt – who dished out the delicious meal last year, and it will be free to all veterans and their families. We hope to have more military displays and veterans service organizations, and a bigger vintage car show this year.

The location is the Houston Area Chamber of commerce Fairgrounds on U.S. 63 north of Houston. The program will start at 10 a.m. Mark your calendars and pray for good weather!

Veterans organizations in Houston:

•American Legion Post 41 meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the meeting hall on the west end of Chilton Oil Company in Houston, (just north of Pizza Hut). Changes to membership eligibility now allow U.S. veterans of all branches and periods of service to join the American Legion.

•Fleet Reserve Association Branch 364 meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month at the American Legion Post 41 meeting hall in Houston. The FRA exists to serve all veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard.

Houston resident Robert E. Simpson is a retired U.S. Navy chief electronics technician who served from 1969 to 1990. Email

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