VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Navy Exchanges (NEX) began distributing health and comfort items, or comfort kits, Sept. 29, free to the many military members and their families affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
These comfort kits are available to people located within the federally declared disaster areas in and around the Gulf Coast.
"The Department of Defense provided funding, which enables us to provide these comfort kits to those service members and their families in need during this devastating time," said Rear Adm. Robert E. Cowley III, commander, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM). "While the Navy Exchange has been providing support to these families through the NEX Mobile Retail Facilities (MRF), it's nice to be able to do even more. It's our mission, but it's also our military family."
The Navy Exchange has deployed six trucks to distribute the comfort kits. The comfort kits include basic health, comfort and convenience items such as toothbrush, shampoo, socks and underwear, as well as a $50 NEX gift card and a prepaid cell phone. Service members and families may pick up a comfort kit at troop encampment locations, Family Assistance Centers and Navy Exchanges on base.
To ensure each member gets the merchandise he or she needs, Navy Exchanges and MRFs will stock the 41 items approved for the comfort kits by the Department of Defense. Each person will then be allowed to select items from the list based on stock, brand and need.
"This will allow each person to choose the item he or she prefers," said Cowley. "It will also ensure that the person gets exactly what he or she needs, which eliminates waste and saves money."
NEXCOM is headquarters for the worldwide Navy Exchange System. Its mission is to provide authorized customers quality goods and services at a savings and to support quality of life programs for active-duty military, retirees, Reservists and their families.
For related news, visit the Navy Exchange Service Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/nexcom/.
Navy family members who need additional information or assistance should call the Navy Personnel Command's Emergency Coordination Center at (877) 414-5358, or visit www.navy.mil.
For the latest Navy news on hurricane relief efforts, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/hurricane/.