A creative solution to the difficulties of retail operations in a war zone halfway around the world.
The 5-, 10- and 25-cent coins are essentially AAFES gift certificates and redeemable only at AAFES stores and vendors.
AAFES began issuing the cardboard coins in November 2001 at exchange stores in Afghanistan and elsewhere during Operation Enduring Freedom. Thirty-eight stores have been opened in support of OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom, McDonald said, including 11 in Iraq.
The red, white and blue, coated-cardboard coins have gotten mixed reviews from troops in Baghdad, who would otherwise have their purchases rounded up to the nearest dollar and not receive any change at all.