AAFES employees deploy, receive medals for contributions to GWOT Published May 20, 2009 By Airman Carissa Wolff 36th Wing Public Affairs ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Not many people know that Army and Air Force Exchange Service employees can volunteer to deploy to forward locations to support troops from all services and by so doing the Global War on Terrorism. Eight Team Andersen AAFES employees were awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism. Stacy Brownhill, Frank Harltley, Mark Leitner, James Mafnas, Flor Payton, Chito Reyes, Wendy Six and Marylou Tangadik were awarded the medals in the base exchange food court May 15. The medal was established to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of the Department of Defense civilian workforce who directly support the armed forces engaged in GWOT operations. According to Flor Payton, medal recipient and the general manager of the Guam and Saipan military exchange stores, AAFES members who deploy perform an important mission. "The AAFES shops in theater would have to close down if AAFES employees didn't volunteer to deploy," Ms. Payton said. "If the AAFES shops closed down, it would lower morale and the quality of life for the troops who are deployed. While I was deployed to Iraq in 2005, we provided a taste of home and a form of consistency for the troops supporting the GWOT." Stacy Brownhill, operations manager for Andersen's Base Exchange, also earned a medal for her volunteer efforts. Ms. Brownhill has deployed twice; her most recent tour was a year-long deployment to Iraq. She said she deployed a second time after realizing how much her contributions meant to deployed personnel. "Both of my deployments were very rewarding," Ms. Brownhill said. "While deployed I still performed the same job I do here. I made sure there were a variety of items at the stores in theater as well as ensured smooth operating procedures. I deployed the second time because it was something I wanted to do. I'm really fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to serve the ones serving our country, so receiving a medal for that was an honor." AAFES can deploy for six months to a year initially and can extend while at their deployed location. Currently AAFES employees can volunteer to deploy to Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. When deployed all employees are placed in managerial positions. For more information about AAFES employee deployments contact Flor Payton at 366-3103.