When you think of Edmonds, do you think of a military town?
With Naval Station Everett to the north and Joint Base Lewis-McChord to the south, Edmonds may not have been the first city to pop to mind.
That may change, quickly, with the launch today in Edmonds of a year-round store-discount program for veterans and service members, the Military Veterans Promotions (MVP) network.
MVP is a collaboration between Operation Military Family, the Downtown Edmonds Merchants Association, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and the City of Edmonds
The program is being touted as the first of its kind in the country. Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling says two other Washington cities have already signed up—Marysville and Leavenworth, and he hopes that it spreads nationwide.
Here’s how it works: Participating merchants can register online at VAPP2.com. There, they will find a printable flier to be placed in their store windows to indicate that their business offers special military discounts as a member of the MVP network. Each merchant determines their own discount or promotion to be offered.
Earling said 46 businesses in Edmonds have already signed up. “I take that as a sign that (merchants) have grabbed a hold of this pretty quickly.”
“As an organization dedicated to better supporting our military families, we are proud to be part of a city that’s so dedicated to its veterans,” says Operation Military Family founder and Edmonds resident Michael Schindler. The Navy veteran runs the service from 155 Third Ave. S.
“We’re grateful to the Edmonds merchants who are helping our military families stretch their dollars a little further at a time when unemployment rates among Veterans are often more than double those of the civilian community.”
Operation Military Family's communications director is Edmonds resident Carolyn Douglas, a former news anchor for KING 5 TV. "It’s an amazing way,” she says, “for Edmonds merchants to lead the way for other communities around our country to better support our returning troops."