By Renee M. Carter
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. - When Janet M. Costen began working for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, James Earl Carter, Jr. was the president and a gallon of gas cost $1.19.
Mrs. Costen, the Exchange manager at Joint Base Andrews’ Main Store (BX), started her career Aug. 11, 1981, as a customer service representative in Nuremburg, Germany. She has spent the last 32 years serving a generation of soldiers and airmen.
“Serving those who protect our freedom is extremely rewarding,” said Mrs. Costen. “It hasn’t felt like a job to me – it’s more of an honor and a privilege to have been able do this for so long.”
Costen has worked as a cashier, an assistant supervisor of Customer Service, an accounting assistant, Human Resource associate, a shift manager, a Sales and Merchandise manager and as the Joint Base Andrews’ Main Store manager, where she will soon retire after a memorable career.
“It’s bittersweet to think of me retiring from the Exchange and to think about the countless friends I have made during my journey,” Costen said. “I will treasure those memories forever.”
While the jobs may have changed over the years, Mrs. Costen’s dedication and devotion to the men and women who have served has never wavered.
“Thinking back on the past 32 years reminds me of what an honor it has been to serve those that serve,” said Mrs. Costen. “Energy prices may go up and politicians may change, but waking up and going to work alongside the best customers in the world at the Joint Base Andrews Exchange in 2014 is just as exciting and rewarding as it was my first day on the job, 32 years ago in Nuremburg, Germany."