Retired Employees Association
Contributing to the Future
Supporting the interests of the Exchange, its retirees and the people it serves.
The Retired Employees Association is committed to supporting its local chapters, encouraging friendships, and volunteerism, as well as supporting our communities through scholarships, emergency relief funds, and the protection of retiree benefits. Our purpose of this website is to provide you with resources about your benefits, help maintain connections through our newsletters, as well as keep you up-to-date on the news and changes that affect you!
AREA Maintains Original Goals, Expands Scope since formed in 1975
The Retired Employees Association is a worldwide organization for The Exchange retirees. First formed back in 1975, the purpose of the association was to continue the friendships and associations that had been made during Exchange careers, a legacy that continues today in the association's endeavors. Today, the Retired Employees Association can boast of having over 17 active local chapters with 2,296 members and spouses all over the United States.
The purpose of AREA and its chapters is threefold: (1) To foster communication and social activities between retired Army & Air Force Exchange Service employees; (2) To support the interests of The Exchange, its employees and the people it serves; and (3) To promote the interests of Association members.
While the activities of local chapters and quarterly Newsletters continue the original intent of maintaining old friendships, AREA has grown significantly since it was founded.
One of our most important activities is helping to protect the retiree benefit. While The Exchange does an excellent job of enhancing and protecting the retiree benefit, AREA's members represent a significant force that can generate letters and phone calls to our representatives in Congress to protect our own benefits from unsettling proposals.
The AREA scholarship program is a long-standing AREA activity. We've provided scholarships to the children of The Exchange employees for many years, having contributed a total of $784,795 to further the education of 358 high school graduating students entering their freshman year of college. The amount of the fund continues to grow each year, and we awarded 12 scholarships in 2018 for $40,000. You can download a list of scholarship awards since program initiation.
One of our newer activities, Emergency Relief, provides financial assistance to Exchange associates and their families devastated by disasters such as fire, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. It was initiated several years ago when it was concluded that the Exchange could not legally provide the service. AREA stepped in and assumed the responsibility for providing a depository for donations collected from Exchange associates and retirees, as well as from sources outside the Exchange. Shortly after the program was set up, AREA was asked to activate the AREA Emergency Relief Fund in support of the Exchange associates at Seymour Johnson AFB after Hurricane Floyd devastated the East Coast in 1999. The Exchange associates and AREA members contributed more than $39,500 for the Pentagon Victims Fund following the attacks of September 11, 2001. In September, 2005, AREA members and supporters contributed $59,845.87 to the Exchange Associates at Keesler AFB who were impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
AREA's 17 local and Informal chapters set their own dues, and meet several times a year for lunch, dinner, trips, picnics, and other social and charitable activities. They seek to maintain current friendships and make new ones while adding new dimensions to their retirement.
If you're not an AREA member now, you can join the National Organization online.