TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The holidays were extra merry for retired Sgt. 1st Class Anna Merryman, a grand-prize winner in the MILITARY STAR card’s seventh annual Your Holiday Bill Is on Us sweepstakes.
“I was so excited when I found out. I was beside myself,” said Merryman, a Sierra Vista resident who served 20 years in the Army. “I thought they were kidding.”
Merryman’s $8,193 bill was paid in full in a presentation at the Fort Huachuca Exchange. Garrison Commander Col. Jarrod Moreland, Garrison Command Sergeant Major James Prasse and Fort Huachuca PX General Manager Jeff Hyatt congratulated Merryman on her win.
“The Exchange is dedicated to serving our heroes and their families,” Hyatt said. “We’re honored to celebrate Sgt. Merryman and thank her for this service with this prize.”
Merryman and her husband—who retired weeks ago after 24 years in the Army—had used their MILITARY STAR card for nearly all of their holiday shopping, including presents for their two children, three grandchildren, parents, siblings, in-laws and nieces.
Black Friday with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is an annual tradition for Merryman, and she even plans her Thanksgiving celebration around the tradition since “you can get so many awesome deals at the PX” during the holidays. Merryman only ever recalls missing one Black Friday, while her husband was deployed.
“I just want to thank the Exchange for doing what they do. They’ve been so wonderful for the military and retirees,” Merryman said. “I really thank them for being there for us.”
Merryman was one of five grand-prize winners who had their entire MILITARY STAR balances paid off (or received a statement credit if their balance was below $2,500) in the sweepstakes. Ten second-place winners received $1,000 statement credits and 25 third-place winners received $500 statement credits. Since the sweepstakes began, MILITARY STAR has paid off nearly $250,000 in balances for service members and their families.