Eustis father voluntarily deploys in support of troops
Courtesy of the Exchange Ft. Eustis PARs Jennifer Rodriguez / Catherine Jones
The Wheel, Ft. Eustis
While most Americans planned to spend the next month celebrating the holidays with friends and family, one local Department of Defense civilian has decided to leave his home and family for a six-month voluntary deployment to the Middle East.
A three-year Army & Air Force Exchange Service (the Exchange) associate, a former Marine and father of two, Fort Eustis’ Calvin Boger decided now was the time to trek 6,276 miles to man a contingency PX / BX in support troops half a world away.
“I want to give a home feeling to the troops,” said Mr. Boger. “Although I’m no longer in the military, it’s my way of doing my part.”
Boger had two weeks of intensive training and preparation at the Exchange Headquarters in Dallas and the Continental United States (CONUS) Replacement Center at Ft. Benning, Ga. or Ft. Bliss, Texas.
Some of them are working in very austere conditions, but they are doing tremendous work. Every associate who deploys is a true hero in my eyes.
Currently, there are more than 450 volunteer Exchange associates like Mr. Boger deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
“I am really proud of the associates who are doing a magnificent job in deployed locations around the world,” said the Exchange’ Commander Maj. Gen. Bill Essex. “Some of them are working in very austere conditions, but they are doing tremendous work. Every associate who deploys is a true hero in my eyes.”
To date, 1,800 Exchange civilians have deployed to provide comfort items and necessities in combat and contingency locations. Service members depend onthe PX / BX facilities these associates support for day-to-day health and comfort items such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, snacks, beverages and entertainment items.
The merchandise assortment in the deployed environments typically includes basic health and hygiene items and snacks. Over time, that assortment is expanded to other items needed and requested by troops downrange. Today, the Exchange stocks electronics, magazines, DVDs and even small appliances at more than 50 PX / BX locations scattered throughout the contingency theater.
These stories represent a sampling of the more than 4,500 deployees and their experiences downrange. If you are a deployee and would like to add your deployment history, please contact us.