Your Stories

Let us know how important these benefits are to you!

If you do not want your commissary to close again, we need your help!

Decision makers in Washington need to hear from you. Please share your concerns with us, outlining how important your commissary and exchange benefits are and how it will impact you if they are taken away for good. Your stories are used when we speak to Congress.

Submit and Share Your Own Story










SPOTLIGHT STORY - James Scarrow in Alaska
I served my twenty years in the Air Force and then 17 more in the Alaska Army National Guard as a GS employee.  When a 6-way heart bypass sidelined me for the rest of my time on earth and a heart attack killed 78% of the function of my heart,  I had to give up working completely. The commissary is of great benefit to me and my family. We feel like we regularly save 35 to 40% over downtown every single trip. . . We would feel lost without the commissary.  


SPOTLIGHT STORY - Robert in Florida (Colonel Retired) 
As a 2d Lt commissioned in 1944, serving in the Army of Occupation in Germany I met and married a member of the WAC. She was separated and we resided in Germany for two more years. When we returned to the US we were in shock because of the high cost of living. DOD and DA decided to avoid another RIF and just starve us out. I had just been accepted into the RA and devoted to stay the full 30 years, serving in Korea and Vietnam. It was a genuine financial struggle. It was not until 1968 that the military pay scale began to meet civilian pay. I retired as an 0-6 but our Supreme Allied Commander, then President Eisenhower, decided to end recomp pay for retirees, working another unfair hardship on those of us who won three wars for the free world during my term of service. My wife would not have tolerated our financial situation had she not been former military. Congress cannot begin to imagine what a military family experiences with the frequent transfers and uncompensated expenses associated therewith. Example, in 28 year of marriage while on active duty my wife established 31 new homes for our family of five. She could hardly have done so without the benefit of the PX and Commissary. If Congress desires to maintain a viable active military it will continue to improve the exchanges and commissaries on every military facility both at home and abroad. Retired full Colonels like myself can make it, but consider the married enlisted men and women! They are the backbone of any unit and they need all the help they can get to raise a family and serve honorably.

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Kenneth in Maryland (LTC Retired)
In 1976 I was on the staff of Senator Hiram L. Fong (R-HI). President Ford proposed adding a 5% surcharge for commissary employees on top of 5% surcharge already imposed for military construction. The House passed defense appropriations bill already included the additional 5% surcharge. I drafted an amendment for Senator Fong which prevailed in the Senate to delete the House provision. Commissaries were saved from demise. Ford and other previous presidents proposed the same which would amount to a 10% sales tax for groceries that are exempt in the private sector. All servicemen and families should write their elected senators and representatives to leave commissaries and exchanges as they are. In this election year we should all become active constituents. Fight for our benefits.

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Steve in Virginia 
27 years I served in the Navy and I traveled the world. The commissaries and NEX's are fantastic here in CONUS but overseas they are one of the few ties to home to remind you what you are fighting for. One 6 month tour I did in Naples and whenever we had a day off our little group would line up a run to the Commissary and get a bunch or groceries and we would have a big cookout and act like we were home. Little things like that mean a lot to the deployed folks. Please lets protect this at all costs for our OCONUS troops!

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Deneise in Georgia
Hello I just wanted to make a comment on the story about the commissary closings. I live in Georgia and we have had several closed already. I live about an hour from a commissary which is really a hassle as I enjoy shopping there because as a disabled veteran I have to watch my finances very closely. Shopping at the PX and commissary really help me with that. Please continue to keep the ones that are open. It means a great deal to us. Even though I can only go once every 2 months I greatly do save If there was one closer to me I would shop there every week. It gives me a sense of pride to have served my country and want to be able to keep the savings within the community which I served with - thank you.

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Janette in Kansas
Do you know what it means to a child in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong or Germany to go to the cupboard and get a box of Mac and Cheese? I do. My family has been stationed all over the world. We go to the commissary to get makings for REAL German, Mexican or Asian foods. We also go because we can find what we want, at a reasonable price, without driving 25 miles to the next town. My husband is now retired on disability. We moved right outside of Fort Riley for access to medical (getting a doctor to take TriCare in Flagstaff, AZ was impossible), commissary and PX. We depend on these institutions to help live in the tall Kansas prairie. We contribute to our community in many ways, but the facilities keep us here. It would be a mistake to take these necessities away from those of us who depend on them. You may live in a place where it is easy to find good prices, but there is not a great deal of comparison shopping here. Although I never served, I have given my all to our country. I organized families after our facility was bombed in Saudi. I packed the kids, followed my husband and moved almost every other year for almost twenty years. I taught military children from coast to coast and overseas. Most of all, we have proudly raised two children, who now serve our country. Please do not reduce what we depend on especially the medical facilities and commissary.

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Kris in Missouri
As a retiree of over 35 years of active and reserve time, I pushed through many hard times by reminding myself of the benefits of military affiliation. While a patriot, I always knew my commitment would be rewarded someday. Now that I am retired and preparing to take advantage of these benefits, it has become a growing concern that this benefit package is a target for politicians to resolve some of their bad decisions. The commissary system is a huge part of those benefits that I have come to rely on making ends meet. I appreciate the work of Saveourbenefits to do just that. Thank you.

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Elaine in California
I am the widow of a MSGT. My husband served 27 years in the US Army during three wars, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam during the TET Offensive. We were often separated due to assignments but yet managed to maintain a wonderful marriage for 54 years, 2 months and 18 days and raising three children. Moving our home 27 times to different places in the US, Europe and the Far East the one constant in our lives was the Commissary. We could always have our favorite foods and save money shopping at our commissary. Even when thousands of miles from home we had a little piece of home in our commissary. Now I am an 84 year old widow living on a much reduced income. Without one or two trips a month to our commissary at Edwards Air Force Base I could not maintain a decent standard of living. There are hundreds more just like me who rely on the commissary to make our money go further, whether retired or active duty. I hope the congress will remember the promises made to all of us in the service; that the commissary privilege was part of our pay and the reason that we were not paid the same as the civilians doing the same job. I firmly believe that saving money should come from somewhere else in the budget and not from the pockets of those who safeguard our existence as a free nation. PLEASE! Honor those who have served and are serving now and DO NOT CHANGE OUR COMMISSARIES!

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Shannon in New York
My son, Connor, is autistic and is on a very strict diet which costs about 250.00 a month and to keep up on that we have to spend on special food. To my surprise the commissary actually had some of the food we were buying at a local health food store for more than half the price. We couldn't afford to keep paying so much on food without going broke but the commissary has helped so much! And for the fact that when I do go shopping with him, everyone is so kind to us. It's not always a great trip to the store but the cashiers are always so understanding if it isn't a great day. I don't know what we would do without our commissary!

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Erica in North Carolina
America is Free need I say more.... This is because of the sacrifices our military and military families have done for this wonderful country. Why take something so valuable away from the people who truly deserve it? Please don't close our commissary my family and I have saved 1000's of dollars this year alone shopping at our local commissary and I refuse to throw hard earned money away at Wal-Mart or other food stores. The people working at the commissary are also military families and they deserve a paycheck. If our government does this it will be a smack in the face to all Military and Military families. Our Military is the only thing standing at the front line for your freedom with no hesitation. US GOVERNMENT please dont let us down!!!

SPOTLIGHT STORY - Todd in Virginia 
I was ashamed to be feeding my family with food stamps. So I joined the Army. Beginning pay for an E-1 is not enough to feed a family of 4 but with the Commissary it made those few dollars go that much further and we got by till I made more rank. If it was not for the Commissary system we would have ate, but it would have been a lot of bologna and mac and cheese. Even after rank, and more money was coming in, its prices and quality of foods cannot be beat, it is the place to shop! The cashiers are like family, and in many cases the only jobs available for family members. The baggers are a blessing to mothers whose husbands are deployed; also to the seniors that need that extra hand. Big Box stores just don't have baggers that will help you with your groceries to your car anymore. While overseas it's the Commissary that gives you that taste of back home foods that would have otherwise been unavailable. Now that I'm retired, it's still my number one benefit! Being a single father with two daughters, living off my retirement and going to college. I keep them fed well! Where I would've been struggling again, if it weren't for the Commissary. I will forever be grateful to those responsible for there being a Commissary. 

Patricia in Texas
All my husband ever wanted to do is to fight for his country. But he got sick and was only able to serve 8 1/2yrs in the Army. We went through difficult times. Being able to shop at the PX and Commissary helps financially. I have been working on Post for the last 8 yrs. So many employees including me, would lose their jobs, many of them served oversees. Some of our customers drive long distances just to able to shop at the Commissary and PX. Please keep us open to provide for our Military.

Craig in Virginia
The commissaries are the best run benefit for our active duty, and retire service personal. There is no way one could give a pay raise to off set the benefit. I know because I am a vendor that supplies product to the commissary. The commissary shopper got sticker shock when they had to go to another store because the commissary was closed. As a company we lost a lot of sales and money. When the stores re opened we gave them some special deal pricing to welcome the shopper back. Kindest regards.

Danny in Mississippi
Commissaries provide a needed link for military and veteran families. Our Commissaries should never be closed out to the troops, families or veterans. I started my military career with the Vietnam War, married, raised three children and supported my disabled wife. As a Military Training Instructor and public teacher for additional years...believe me, I speak for many others.

Nancy in Arizona
I want to thank all those responsible for opening the commissaries in the past few weeks. Now it is the talk that because of funding that the commissaries are the target again. Ist is a shame that active duty, reserves and retirees have to live in fear that the commissaries are getting the ax because of funding. Although i have never had the privilege to visit Washington D.C. I understand that our elected public servants have access to a commissary therefore there must be a need for them. Not only that but these same servants are paid much more than the above mentioned military. It is said that many of these folks (military affiliated) have to use food stamps, so that say they need to spread their money as far as possible to take care of their families. Think of all the individuals who are away from their families to protect you and me and how they can perform their duties knowing that those at home may be without food. So it would be greatly appreciated if you can protect our commissaries as well as all our benefits. Thank you for your time and concern.

Leslie in Mississippi
The commissary is a huge benefit for retirees and active duty alike. The widows/widowers are only receiving a portion of the military retirement check which does not go very far. The commissary makes a huge difference in these lives. Overall savings of 30-40 percent were just verified during the shutdown when stores were forced to close. I purchased two bags of essentials at a local wal-mart and was suffered serious sticker shock. I am retired Air Force and can not imagine shopping elsewhere. Some items including include those for special diets are either very expensive or not available off base. Wal-mart does not carry slower selling items. Our military members often marry overseas, those spouses like the ability to have a taste of home at a reasonable cost. Finally, as a commissary employee, I saw our customers with tears in their eyes as we told them the store was closed. Many had driven almost an hour to shop and could not afford a later trip nor enough food for the month at off base stores. Unfortunately, I saw the despair in their eyes when the reality hit them that they would not have enough food for the month. Some of these individuals qualify for Food Stamps and other programs but do not apply for benefits. If the commissary were gone, many might be forced to apply for assistance. Rob Paul to pay Peter.... will we ever learn.

Carol in Virginia
Commissaries are one of the most important benefits that military members earn. After retirement from active service, the commissary was the one benefit that continued to provide for our family. We could count on quality products from people who understood what it means to serve and how tight retirement funds can be. When we were stationed at various overseas locations, the commissary could be counted on to provide the goods we missed. The commissary along with the Exchange provide employment opportunities for dependents of active duty and civilian members overseas, as well as a chance to begin a career in retail. As a former "brat", active duty member, dependent spouse, and retiree spouse, the commissary and the exchange are my first choice always for the best prices on goods and services. Not only do they represent good value for your money, they do so much to help the younger troops and their families, who truly sacrifice so much to serve our country. To take away this valuable benefit from our service members and retirees would be a slap in the face to them. It is a benefit that we have earned and we want to keep.

Brandon in Washington
As a military member i use the commissary every time i go shopping. I have a wife and a child and we are expecting another. The commissary has helped us save money over the years by providing goods tax free. These are rights that we deserve. I have over 1000 hours in an aircraft with at least half those being out of our country. Naval aviation is inherently dangerous. I risk my life every time i step foot into an aircraft. The least you could do is give me my groceries tax free.

Brenda in Mississippi
My husband served 20 years in the US Air Force. We have always used the commissary and find it to be the biggest benefit we have! It does anger us to find that many commissaries do not check id's upon entry to the store allowing some uncaring individuals to bring in their neighbors and other family members and friends to buy groceries. This is not fair to those who fought to enjoy this benefit. I urge you to please not do away with this benefit, we do not have enough money to buy groceries outside the base. And also do not allow the Exchange to take over the commissary!! Their prices in their stores are outrageous! We never shop there, although they do not charge sales tax, it does little to make right their high prices! Again, I beg of you to please take care of your active duty families and retirees, do not take away our benefit of the commissary, we desperately need it! And there are so many other ways to cut the budget. There are so few benefits these days and fewer all the time, and we are willing to do our part, but please do not take the food out of our mouths!

Robert in South Carolina
I served 28+ years before being medically retired. When I decided to make the US Army my career, I was promised free, life-long medical care and life-long access to the PX and commissary. I earned those promises and fully expect them to be honored. Medicare B's annual premium of over $1200 is not what I was promised. I can afford to shop on the commercial market, but that's not the issue. I endured many family and personal hardships during my years of service, including two years of separation from my wife and two newborn children while I served in Viet-Nam. Taking away our PX/commissary use is not necessary and just treats our military members unfairly when the US Government is giving away free cell phones and most everything else to those who don't contribute to the nation. And those closings would impact the lower ranking military members and their families severely.

William in California
Any taxpayer funding is minimal, so why begin stating this? commissaries are self-sustaining, and PROMISED by the government many years ago. Very few people can survive with the price of groceries today, certainly not the young with families. Certainly not the older who are on fixed incomes - men and women who dedicated large parts of their lives to serving their country. And promised this benefit in return. Recently the Commissaries in Hawaii closed and it brought so much hardship to everyone there dependent on this benefit. Food prices, for whatever reason, are very high, and we noticed the difference right away.

James in Indiana
Closing the Commissary or limiting my use of the Exchange would place me in a financial dilemma. The money I save by shopping at these facilities makes a very real difference in how far my monthly income stretches. Losing these facilities would likely force me to make drastic changes in my day to day living. The savings I realize help me to have the money left to do the things a retiree should be doing: enjoying not having to work and scrape to get by. I served my country in wartime and peace time, the retirement benefits that were promised were a major reason for my repeated re-enlistments. Don't back out on me and the many other retirees that depend on these valuable resources.

Lance in South Dakota
For 36 years my family and I have patronized the Commissaries and Exchanges wherever I was stationed. The savings from those stores have helped us live a reasonably quality standard of living, considering the pay I received during my 20-year Naval career. My wife and I are now empty-nesters. we live about 180 miles from the nearest base with a commissary and exchange, and we shop at those stores frequently whenever we're in the area of the base. Our daughter shops the commissary and exchange regularly near where she lives, and also finds the savings very much helpful in enabling her to have a good standard of living for her own family. We do recognize the difference in cost of products on the "outside" vs our military exchanges and commissaries... Take those benefits away, and you may as well record at least the lower ranking military personnel as living in poverty. Millions of us have faithfully served your country and ours, and we appreciate the benefit of the commissary and exchange, and feel it's something we've earned as part of our arduous duty assignments...

William in Pennsylvania
The commissary has always been an important benefit to my family. I have served as both an active and National Guard soldier in times when money was short, salary was tight and the commissary was the difference maker for the family in the decision to continue to serve. It has often been the one positive thing to benefit the family in return for the hardship and absences they dealt with as a result of service. Any attempt to take away this benefit, which retirees need to offset the increasing medical costs as one gets older, is a step in the wrong direction for our nation and for military retention. I have to travel 50 miles to get to a commissary and I do it because the savings to my family is worth it. Soldiers don't ask for new buildings and other amenities that the defense people think are important especially when they close a base only to have to add to an existing one later at a higher cost. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines want a benefit for their family, one that is solid and constant, and the commissary it that benefit.

Frank in Rhode Island
I spent 20 years as a Navy Corpsman in the Navy serving my country. I was able to work for a few years and then I became disabled. The VA made me 100% IU. I love my commissary and I use it 2 or 3 times a week I earned what I get and then some. I pray every day that God will not let the Government destroy MY country, the land of the free and the home of the brave. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

Kevin in Indiana
Taking away the commissaries is one more reason for young men and women NOT to commit themselves to the military. The people in power need to realize the benefit this gives to keeping a military of dedicated service members. And what about those that committed themselves to the military for all those years? If their benefits are taken away, it not be good PR for the politicians who sign off on such a deed.

Tomekia in Missouri
Like everyone else I appreciate the savings at the commissary. However, the reason I think the commissary is important is the variety of foods available. Food is such an important part of our cultures and when military members and their families are far from home (especially for holiday) being able to get foods that are culturally significant to you even in rural locations is priceless. In many rural locations the commissary is a vital benefit because there are NOT good local options.

Thelbert in North Carolina
The commissary has been a place where my wife and I could save our limited retirement monies by buying quality food products at below market prices. The employees are courteous and the stores are very clean and organized. The commissary was a benefit that I had anticipated and now after retiring from the NC Army National Guard with 32 years of service we are enjoying that benefit at Seymour Johnson AFB. Please don't shut down this benefit. Reduce expenses by reducing the monies you give to foreign countries that don't give a hoot about the USA except what we give away. Keep it in the USA.

Rick in Florida
I enlisted in the military in 1954, I was one of many thousands who were promised "FREE" medical and dental for the rest of our lives if we remained for 20 years or more. In that promise was "commissary and exchange" privileges among other perks. I served just over 31 years combined with 24 active and 7 years reserve duty. I was very disappointed when our "FREE" medical was taken away from us and replaced with Tricare which required a premium for the service offered. Every time Congress has to make choices in respect to the "keeping the government running", always there are those in Congress who immediately want to cut benefits and pay for the "military" and the "seniors", those who are at the bottom of the barrel. Now, again we are threatened with cutting the benefit of the "commissary" and our health care. If only those who are in favor of these cuts would consider the price we have paid for these "FREE??" benefits maybe they would not be so readily in favor. I being a "disabled combat veteran" on "disability compensation" and Social Security disability pay use the "commissary and exchange" very frequently as I have to make every dollar count. I cannot for the life of me see the reason behind the idea of putting the weight of the nations debts on the backs of those who have committed to sacrifice "ALL"! Here's a quote that should explain the insanity of that idea, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. ... Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy."

Deanie in Louisiana 
My husband served for 22 years in the US Air Force. Little by little I see our benefits being taken away from us. We worked hard for these benefits and i enjoy shopping at our commissary and Base Exchange. I am shocked that when the government has an issue the military is the first to suffer. I am so disappointed in how the military has been treated. I would like to see these benefits that we earned to continue as long as there is a military.

Ken in Wisconsin
We shop at USNTC GLAKES Comm Store. Because of increased prices, inflation and our meager pay raises not coming even close to keeping even, the savings at the commissary help us to afford copays for meds and other necessities. Fuel, home heating, Medicare premiums all escalate every year by double digit percentages, yet our COLA only increases by very low single digits. To close this store would cause us to cut back on other needs.

Sarah in Nevada
Our benefits need to be saved for our active duty members have put their time in for our country. I am in shock when I see the prices at my local grocery store and have gotten used to the savings myself and family deserve. Why can people receive entitlements/handouts like WIC, EBT,and SNAP yet we are actually using our own money to pay for items at a discounted price. I say save the commissaries for they are vital to our active duty families. Without them, it is telling us that as a community our servicemen and women are not important.

Rodney in Pennsylvania
I am a retired service member. I have no access to a Commissary in my locale but, it's not hard to recall that time on active duty when my family would not have survived without the Commissary and Post Exchange. If we hadn't had those benefits it would have been 2 years and out.

Nelson in Juncos,
Presently, in my individual case, and my family, when we do our grocery shopping at the commissary, we end up saving at least 35% or more at times, compared to outside supermarkets. Nowadays, with everything so expensive, it is of great relief for us to have such a convenient facility where we can go on with our good quality of life and our families. I will go on and say that I feel privileged to be a Veteran and possibly have a little more to live by than the average Citizen; but, I will also say that I, very proudly, unselfishly, served my Nation even in combat without regrets or conditions.

Melissa in Marysville,
Please don't take away our commissaries!!! We have been in the Navy for 5 years, and the day my husband went to boot camp, I quit working. The only thing that has allowed for this is the prices at the commissary! A lot of us are on one income-especially those of us with smaller children at home. Daycare prices are high, making it less cost efficient for us to work. Having one parent gone frequently, the kids, and the military spouse need someone at home they can count on to be there whenever needed. If you take away the commissaries, a lot of military members will lose that full time support and moral will suffer with that loss, plus it will be more stressful for ANY military member to try to make the money stretch enough to eat. Please-the raises have been so small the past few years. Don't do this to us! We NEED the commissaries!

Donna in North Carolina
I retired after 20 years of service. I am not able to work a full 40 hour work week at this time due to my special needs daughter and I need to be here for her after school. I cannot afford to pay someone to be here for her. I am fortunate to even have a job that will work with my hours that I can work. My budget is tight as I am a single parent of three and the commissary helps me to feed my family. The savings I receive I definitely felt when the commissary closed for a week. I wasn't able to buy as much on the money I budget weekly for groceries so that resorted in less food to feed my family for the week. I am disgusted why the budget cuts must always come from the military. If anything, all of these people that serve and those that have served their country are deserved better treatment than what they are given, especially lately.

Claudia in Florida
I really like using our benefits as retires, sure missed not shopping for two weeks at the commissary. Hated to shop at the nearest store and pay high prices for store brands. My husband also could not see his primary physician for follow up, unless he was sick. Please do not allow this happen again! Military and Retires deserve all benefits opened at all times...

Debra in Georgia
The Ft. Gordon, GA Commissary had not been opened for 6days a week for may one month. That was hard enough!! I love my commissary! Then, it was closed for over a week. I did not want to shop local for food, but I had to. The Commissary opened up again for 6 days a week. What is going on? How can the US government shut down something as important as a grocery store?

Jim in Tennessee
I joined the service in 1959 and retired in 1985. Over the years my contract with the government has been attacked in efforts to reduce the promised benefits that I hoped would be in place when I retired to make my retirement a bit better especially in uncertain economic times as has proven to be the case. Removal of this benefit would not only lower my quality of life as I exist on SSI fixed income. I earned this benefit protecting my country and while I am not like some unfortunate souls that gave all I placed my life in front of what might be asked of me to protect our country and freedom. Keeping the commissaries and exchanges open for the others like me and my family is a small price to pay for what has been given and is being given by my military comrades in arms. DO NOT PLAY POLITICAL GAMES WITH MY LIVELIHOOD PLEASE! We have earned this small token of appreciation and stringently object having someone hasn't served take away my life sustaining benefits. Thanks for listening.

Joe and Loretta in New Jersey
I am a retired military, 27 total years active and National Guard. My wife, a former WAC, and I met and married while serving on Active Duty 44 years ago. We lost a good portion of our IRA in the stock market several years ago. Right now our income is comprised of Social Security, my Military (National Guard) retirement and a VA disability. That's it. Without the earned benefits of the commissary and PX we would never be able to survive going to commercial grocery stores here in New Jersey. Over the years, we military, found out that recruiters lied about free medical after 20 or more years of service. The government has grown greatly in the last 70 years, creating many high paying jobs. But it seems that to accomplish this it has chipped away at the military during this period. Just the folks who have served over the last 15 to 20 years have sacrificed so much as volunteers, should not be burdened with any shrinkage to what benefits that they have and deserve. Please, members that are supposed to represent us, stop the idea of closing or raising prices in our well taken care of Commissaries and PX's. By the way members that represent us and " lead" us, you wouldn't be able to argue with each other, if the great American Military who fought many battles to give you that right.

Glenn in Utah
For 20+ years, I and many retirees, as well as those that are sill active remained loyal to our country. We do this for the love of our country coupled with a desire to serve. Throughout our careers, we worked for substandard wages; many members qualify for food stamps. This is an insult, but the savings realized by using the commissary help to make up for the short comings of wages. Don't take this away from our military families; they need this benefit.

Hal in Virginia
Commissaries are very important for us as we are on a limited budget. There are many young enlisted people who are on food stamps and other assistance necessary for them and their families.

James in Oklahoma
I served over 22 years in the Army and retired as a First Sergeant. I served in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. I just turned 80 years old and am on a limited budget. The commissary and BX savings mean a lot to me. The commissary helps me to stretch my dollar compared to prices at the stores in town. If I lose my commissary benefits I will have to cut back on my food shopping. I don't know why every time the government wants to save money instead of cutting it from all of the waste in the government they go after the military. They cut from the brave men and women who keep our country safe and give their blood and lives.

Richard in Texas
I am retired from the Navy and a disabled vet. We love 129 miles away from Ft Polk, La. It is still worth it to go to the commissary there once every quarter and stock up on food and other items. The gasoline it takes to make the trip makes it a little less savings but the quality of the food is so much better than what can be found in a small town of 2,600 population. Now, if all the congressional perks are cut out, such as the congressional commissary and all the other perks including the gymnasium, etc. Then it would make a little more sense, but once again congress(or someone) wants to pick on the military because we have little or no clout to have much control as to how much of our PROMISED BENEFITS are taken away from us. When is it going to stop??? Richard Dean

John in Germany
Live overseas and the commissary is the only place we are able to purchase some American products. We not only save money, but are still able to enjoy a few amenities from our homeland. Losing the commissaries overseas would result in more out-of-pocket expense, and a drastic change in our eating habits. To us, the commissary is the second most valuable benefit--right after medical care. Please do all you can to preserve this benefit for military families, both active duty and retired.

Dale in Kentucky
I am a retired Navy member. I also work as a teacher at Fort Campbell. I am going to be retiring in the next few years and this will necessitate some economy moves on my part. Even currently it is very important for me to avoid unnecessary expenses. The affordability of the commissary is a major factor which allows me to maintain a healthy diet. Also my spouse is part of the equation and she has to consider health concerns both on-going and future. The commissary is a crucial piece of the benefits that active duty,veterans and military retirees have earned through extreme sacrifice over many years. Our lawmakers need to preserve this vital benefit. If they want to make cuts there are many other entitlements that are ripe for slashing such as the free cell phone program.

James in Florida
As a retired military member I use the base facilities on a regular basis. I help support nine family members. Without the base commissary I would not be able to help them. Please continue to keep these facilities open.

Donald in Florida
I retired from the US Coast Guard in 1981 and my retired pay is quite low compared to today's salaries and retirement pay for those who have retired since then. The retired pay along with Social Security are my only sources of income. The savings at the commissary and exchange are important to my family as well as to those thousands of others who retired long ago. Even today's lower ranking personnel need the savings at the commissary since their pay is far below the pay in the civilian community. These privileges need to be protected and saved.

Randy at Warner Robins
I joined the Air Force at age 17. When I married I married young age 19 and my wife and I had very little money. One of the major benefits we love is our commissary because of the food quality and prices. I always looked at this benefit as an off set to my low pay I received. I could have made more money on the outside if I had separated and went into a civilian job but the benefits seemed to make the service more reasonable and tolerable. Even though I'm retired now I still shop at the commissary because I've done so for over 30 years and never wanted to give up a benefit I felt I earned over the years. If this benefit goes by the wayside I would have to ask what reason would young airmen have to serve to off set the lower pay? Military veterans should not be treated like every other American as only 1% of us serve and there has to be some benefit to that service.

James in Texas
I also retired from the army in 1984. I am now receiving Veterans benefits for disabilities due to agent orange. I need the benefits of the commissaries because my wife and I are living on a fixed income. I feel if the Millionaires that are making these decisions would have too walk in our shoes for a year they would know how badly we need our commissaries. I pray each day that our leaders wake up before they destroy our great nation. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Randy in Oklahoma
With all the craziness abounding in America today it's comforting to my wife and I as we enjoy shopping at our base commissary, BX and many other base facilities. My wife has come to trust the base to get the best products and prices. However before I married my wife she never stepped onto a military base nor had any idea of what was available to service members. That makes me proud to know my wife trusts the commissary, BX and other base facilities but not withstanding I was the one who served 20 years military duty. Through her eyes I see how Important these benefits are to me.

Douglas in Virginia
On Oct 23, 1983 I was returning home from on early morning run to the grocery store when a news flash came on the radio; the Marine barracks in Beirut. Lebanon had just been bombed with an unknown number of dead and unaccounted for. I felt like crying the rest of the way home. The United States had suffered a large number of terrorist attacks by this time and I was fed up. My normal Sunday morning routine included reading the want ads. As fate would have it, that morning I encountered an add from the Navy Reserve seeking candidates for A school. I had avoided committing myself to military service up to this point in my life, but it had always been gnawing on the edge of my conscience. I was a degreed, registered Civil Engineer by this point in my life. I decided to call in response to this add. On Monday morning I spoke with a recruiter who listened to my story and responded with an alternative to A school. With my background, she recommended applying for a commission in the Seabees. This was a group I was vaguely familiar with having watched John Wayne in the Fighting Seabees in my youth. To make a long story interminable, I received a commission in the U. S. Navy Reserve. After meeting my obligation, I realized that it had become more than a matter of patriotism with a fairly short commitment. It had become family. In addition, the benefits and pay sealed the deal. My senior officers counseled me about what a career in service could mean to me and my family. Retirement pay and access to commissaries and exchanges figured huge in my retirement planning. Now that I am retired, from both Naval Service and civilian, I find that with my meager Navy Reserve retirement pay and social security, my family depends on the commissary benefit. It was good retirement planning. Now that I learn I may lose this benefit, my planning doesn't seem so good after all. I would hope that Congress honors its commitments as well as I honored mine.

Julie in Georgia
My husband has just retired after 23 years in the Air Force. We came home to Atlanta to be with my parents. My father is a disabled Marine who served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. We have always used the commissary as a way of helping our budget. We know that military members do not earn what civilians do in the same jobs, so the commissary helps us stretch our budgets while our husbands serve this country. Now that we are retiring, they are threatening to close Ft. McPherson's commissary. Commissaries are vitally important in keeping our expenses down. There has been talk of a commissary at Dobbins for years, but as of yet, apparently it is an unfunded mandate. Are we going to lose this benefit as well?


Lisa Berry in Tennessee
My husband and I have both served. My husband is retired and I am currently a full time student. The commissary is a major help in keeping our food bill within our budget. My biggest savings come from meats and buying milk. The new rewards card is also a big help. I go to the commissary on Ft. Campbell, KY and I have never seen it empty especially on a payday or during a bulk sale. The commissary also does a great job in providing jobs to spouses, students, and retirees. Closing the commissaries would have a major impact to so many people. If anything I could see cutting hours or maybe closing one day a week but to get rid of our commissaries after we fought with our blood, sweat and tears would make upset. Perhaps you should all come visit one and see and of course trade paycheck with us first. 

Sarah King in Hawaii

My family needs the commisary and exchange benefits in order to survive. With Hawaii prices it would be impossible to put food on the table. My child can not drink lactose milk and needs Pediasure. Off post for a 6-pack of Pediasure it is $16. At the commisary it is only $9.99. Just in her milk we save money. Those that defend our right to be free, deserve to be able to feed our families.

Michelle Hinds in Nevada
For many years my husband and I lived on a small island in Hawaii where prices for groceries were extreme. The commissary saved us a lot of money. Gasoline and grocery price are high in Hawaii because of shipping - please do not take our commissary. 

Jennifer Wurst in South Carolina
It's so frustrating to hear about the possible cuts. My husband and I are currently stationed in Germany. The commissary is the ONLY place we can go to get the foods we are used to and to get a little comfort of home (the states). It really upsets me to hear that the few privileges we do get for being in the military are being threatened to be taken away from us. The military's job is to protect our country, so why is our country always willing and trying to take things away from us?

Sarah Yeackley in Georgia
My husband has faithfully served in the Army for over 6 years. We have two small children and it is difficult to make ends meet on a Sergeant's salary. The lower prices at the commissary make it possible for us to make it. Please show your support for the men and women who sacrifice so much for the nation's freedom. Please don't take away our benefits. 


Jennifer Wurst in South Carolina
It's so frustrating to hear about the possible cuts. My husband and I are currently stationed in Germany. The commissary is the ONLY place we can go to get the foods we are used to and to get a little comfort of home (the states). It really upsets me to hear that the few privileges we do get for being in the military are being threatened to be taken away from us. The military's job is to protect our country, so why is our country always willing and trying to take things away from us?

Sarah Yeackley in Georgia
My husband has faithfully served in the Army for over 6 years. We have two small children and it is difficult to make ends meet on a Sergeant's salary. The lower prices at the commissary make it possible for us to make it. Please show your support for the men and women who sacrifice so much for the nation's freedom. Please don't take away our benefits. 


Debbie Blackwell in Mississippi
My husband spent 24 years in the Army,We were staioned at many differant post. I always shopped at OUR commissary and P.X. And I still do. They have saved us a lot of money over the years, Now that we are grandparents. I shop for our grandshildren at the P. X. Please don't take that away from us, Now that we are retired I see the same faces and the commissary and P.X. We have become friends with a lot of them.

Robert Allen in Maryland
80% disable veteran, working at Patuxent River, MD Naval Air Station. Have access to no benefits as a veteran, which includes commissary, exchange, movie theatre, gym, absolutely nothing. Work onboard as a contractor, yet many of my government co-workers are friends, family, frat brothers of other workers. No experience, no militare association, yet they are alloted benefits that we as veterans fought for, but have been denied here at Pax River. Nepotism is alive and well here at Pax, however, I can live with that. But to afford these twenty something people rights and benefits that we as veterans are not afforded is beyond reprehension.

Robert in Maryland
Please save our commissaries and other medical and retirement benefits that we have earned, as in my case, twenty two years of service. The commissary has saved us quite a bit of money which is good for us seventy year olds who can't get jobs anymore either due to our health or age. I also work as a grocery bagger (tips) at our commissary which helps us who are on fixed incomes. The products are of the best quality and the low prices help us retiree's to stretch our funds farther.

Grace in Florida
My husband and I used to shop at the commissary in Jacksonville all the time when we went to get our meds and I went to the Dr.'s at the base. I sure enjoyed going there. We moved to Bunnell and it's to far away to go to the Dr's because of the war and all. My husband passed away and we used to go over all the time. I have my ID card and stickers on my automobile and I go ever chance I get. Wish I could live on the base but my husband was retired when we got married. Thanks for letting me write.

Clyde in Georgia
I live in a small town in NE Georgia and I'm a retired Army person and before closing I drove the 47 plus miles to Atlanta to shop at the exchange and commissaries and now that they are closed I drive 120 miles to Ft. Gordon near Augusta for the exchange and commissary. Cannot believe they are planning on taking away our benefits. Most retired service members do most of our shopping at the commissaries. I usually take a cooler for my meats, after all 120 miles to shop is a long distance just to grocery shop but the savings make it worthwhile. Let's keep these benefits!

James in Nebraska
Greetings -- On behalf of our Commissaries (and Exchanges too), I enthusiastically add my 'vote' to keep Commissaries and Exchanges! The Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska Commissary and Base Exchange both do a fantastic job ! They offer a terrific way for Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve and Retired Personnel to stretch their pay and pensions! As a Retired TSgt (E-6), U.S. Air Force, I am so thankful for the privilege of shopping at my nearby Offutt AFB, Nebraska Commissary and Base Exchange! Terrific shopping values in the Commissary. The Base Exchange is competitive, no sales tax is charged, and they will even match prices! On top of all this, the Military Star Card even offers a discount off of the terrific Base Exchange Food Court prices & other periodic Star Card specials through the year! Please keep our Military Commissaries and Exchanges!

George in Illinois
The commissary and Exchange are absolutely critical parts of this military family's lifestyle. Since I retired, we shop there more every day, and the savings we notice are exponential. Several people who work in our stores are retirees or spouses of retirees, and on top of the savings on the same products from out in town, it is nice to see friendly and familiar faces. If Congress is looking for a way to save money, get rid of all their pork barrel projects and cut their pay in half. Don't take away one of the great military and retiree benefits that many of us have earned.

Ronald in Ohio
The commissary and BX saves me hundreds every year even though I only shop there once every three months. It's hard to make it on a retired income, but the savings I get by shopping the commissary and BX really helps tremendously, please keep our exchanges and commissaries open.....A retired USAF SMS who proudly served a total of 39 years active and Air National Guard.

Charlie in Arizona
Mysband is retired Air Force and the commissary is one of our biggest benefits. We live in the East Valley and drive over to Luke Air Force Base to shop, we save a lot, most of the time we save more than enough for our next tank of gas. Also in the commissary you get to see and meet a lot of our old friends. I love the name brand items that we can get in the commissary and all the other stuff. I like to pick up the coupons that is on the shelves and we all still are allowed to use the other coupons we bring into the store. I also enjoy the truck load sales. And the items we can call ahead for at the commissary will be waiting for us to pick up on the day we shop. Save our commissaries and keep the prices affordable.

Howard in Georgia
One doesn't miss what wasn't, but sure do when what one had is gone. With the BRAC closing of Forts McPherson and Gillem the Army has moved out of Atlanta. The Navy Supply School at Athens and its small, but open, Commissary and BX was as close as Gillem from our home in the eastern suburbs. Alas the BRAC ate it too. There is supposed to be built a commissary at Dobbins AFB but I don't see it listed anywhere. FT Gordon is two hours to the east and may be the only option to Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and others that don't support MWR. The only way to make ends meet when retired and on fixed income is to fix or reduce your expenses too. HOOAH!

Susan in Colorado
I enjoy shopping at commissaries. I am disabled and on a very limited income. The commissary saves me a great deal on groceries compared to local supermarkets. If I had to shop at local supermarkets, I would have to cut my grocery bill with having little food in my home. That is very scary to know that I would have limited food in my home. People are struggling to put food on the table the way it is and closure of our commissaries will only make it worse. Military members have worked hard to earn commissary benefits. I should not think this benefit should be removed from us. In addition, numerous jobs will be taken away from commissary employees which does not help our economy. It will increase unemployment. I enjoy shopping at the commissary as employees are helpful and friendly, which I see, less of in local supermarkets. I used to drive 160 miles round trip to shop at a commissary as that is how much I felt the need to support them and they supported me. There is a caring and compassion of employee's at our commissaries. It just pains me that commissaries are even being considered for closure. They are utilized a great deal more than anything.

Vincent in Ohio
I can't believe they want to do this, what else do they want from us soldiers who fight for our freedom. Don't we give enough? We ask for very little and yet we all seen we have a target on our backs. Please pause and think about what you are doing and how many soldier's and families it will affect.

Lamberto in Virginia
Since I joined the Navy, My family has been patronizing the commissary because we enjoy the reasonable prices, helping our military MWR, helping our young dependents to have a job specially the military spouses supporting their spouses who are new to the service. I'll always honor our military commissary personnel.

Trisha in Texas
I am a senior citizen and reside in Tyler Texas. I drive once a month to Shreveport to the commissary to shop. Even with the gas prices being what they are, I save considerably and grateful that I have this benefit. My husband has passed away and I must make every penny count. It is also nice to be around the person's in uniform and their families.

Alena in Louisiana
I am so thankful for the benefit of shopping at the commissary. With the prices at the commissary I am able to fill my cart with healthier food choices unlike shopping locally. This is a huge plus for any health conscience family and benefits any Airman who needs to maintain his PT goals. I am glad the commissaries are stocking more organic and gluten-free products at prices suitable for my budget. I can't imagine losing this huge benefit!

John in Missouri
My wife and I use the commissary and the exchange savings. If we did not have this we would not be able to go from month to month on our retirement and still pay the other bills on time.

Virgil in Nevada
After retiring with 30+ years of Naval service this past November, my wife turned over grocery duties to me. I immediately started doing our monthly grocery shopping at the commissary, even though our nearest commissary is 27 miles from our home. The savings I notice each time is significant especially with a family of seven. With so many places nearer to chose from the savings on the grocery bill is well worth the drive.

Steve in Alaska
As a retired vet, we rely on the commissary for our main source of groceries. We live in Kodiak, AK and support the Coast Guard Base here. Without the commissary our grocery bills would be 50% - 75% higher on the economy. Therefore, we would not be able to have the nutritious meals that we do. If the commissary were to disappear it would affect the large active Coast Guard and retired community here. Keep up the good work on supporting the privileges we have worked hard for.

Regina in California
I have been shopping at the Camp Pendleton Commissary since we arrived in California in 1971. I would be lost without the value it provides for me especially now that we are living on retirement checks. I cannot believe the difference in quality and choices that are there for me as opposed to what I could afford at local stores. I hope future retirees can reap the same benefits.

Delores in Georgia
I am a dependent (retired) BUT the commissary has become a great thing I DEPEND ON here in Atlanta. Due to closings, if I want to shop at the Commissary I have to go to Ft Benning. Too MANY retires here for such a mass CLOSING of commissaries and exchanges.

Luis in Texas
I am a 20 year retired AF veteran in my 70s as is my wife. Occasionally, we commute over 200 miles to get to the nearest large commissary which is in San Antonio. Our commitment to support our commissary goes back many years when I was in the AF and lived in base housing. I remember how major food companies would introduce new products in our commissary prior to making them available in the private sector to determine success or failure. The military will never be the same without our commissary and it will be a sad day in America for our soldiers if they are closed. I pray it does not happen.

Lyman in Arkansas
In the 25 years prior to my retirement, we used the commissaries every place we were stationed. It was a benefit we truly enjoyed and came to view it as part of the compensation for being separated during hardship tours. I knew we could purchase high quality foods at great prices. Although a local store might have sales which beat the commissary prices, I knew that I could shop my grocery list and be confident my final bill would be less than the same list in the local stores... and without having to keep searching for the lowest cost item. Likewise, I knew that the surcharge would one day remodel or build a nicer commissary for a fellow service family. Now, as retiree, I look to the commissary to minimize the impact of ever increasing food prices for our great active duty force and us alike.

David in California
As a Navy retiree, we depend upon the services provided by the commissaries. Those of us who are on a fixed income depend upon these stores for lower prices. We live adjacent to Travis AFB and that installation also provides us with David Grant Medical Center, and an excellent exchange. These are the benefits that we were promised when I joined the Navy, and this is the only commissary in our area since the government has closed every other military base in the San Francisco Bay Area. The local grocery stores around here are charging as much as the traffic will bear, and we seldom go there. These civilian merchants are ripping off not only the many military people here, but the civilians as well. They are only concerned with making the almighty dollar. We must preserve and protect our military benefits by not allowing these greedy merchants to lobby Congress to reduce our commissary and other career entitlements. Where is the respect due for our dedicated service to this great nation?

Freda in Virginia
I am a veteran/single mother of two. I shop at our Fort Lee, Va. Commissaries and Exchange all the time. I'm on a fixed income and not eligible to received my full retirement benefits. I go to the commissaries to avoid paying the high cost of prices at off post stores. It would be a huge mistake to close any of our facilities. I would hope Congress will strongly reconsider their decision for the sake of those that cannot afford to shop off base. 

Lou in Illinois
We drive 2hrs away to Scott AFB to do our commissary shopping. It is well worth the drive. We have saved a lot of money stocking up on every day household items when they have case lot sales. Their meat is trimmed as to just leave enough fat for flavor so we do not pay for excess waste like in your regular grocery store. All the staff at Scott commissary are real friendly & knowledgeable about their products. Thanks to everyone working all of the commissaries that make it possible for us to save money.
 
Krystal in California
My family and I love to shop at the Commissary. They are always nice and clean and have great prices. I never mind the extra drive to the Commissary because it's always worth it. They always have fresh fruit and keep everything stocked. We shop at the main commissary on Camp Pendelton.

Charles in Utah
Once a Month I drive 180 Miles to HAFB. I go to the Pharmacy and get medications for Me and my Wife. Then I go to the BX and get what is needed and save lots. While I am there I shop at the Commissary and spend about $500.00. Plus saving Hundreds each year I enjoy shopping on Base. Please don't Mess with the Commissary and or the Bx. And Please Don't think about Closing Hill Air Force Base as It Means Lots to Most Utah Residents. Charles M. Edwards VFW Dist #4 Commander, Department of Utah

Linda in Missouri
We hope they keep the commissaries like they are. The military needs this since they are on a limited income like my husband and I. This is the place where we can go to save money and carry us till the next month. Thank you to the Coalition and I hope our benefits are protected!


James in Florida
We have shopped in the Navy Exchange and Commissary for 40 years,and have enjoyed this priviledge . Some years ago the Commissary started a surcharge to cover previous expenses paid by the Gov. Why is Congress trying to take away one of our only worthwhile benefits?

Fred in Florida
We are a retired family and in our upper 70's. Due to disabilities, we can only get to a military commissary and BX every 3 months, so when we go, we stock up a 3 month supply. It means a lot to save as much as possible. The "SURCHARGE" they charge us is higher than taxes in a regular outside store. They should drop or lower this charge to retirees. We do not make any higher pay per month and of course less than active duty, so whatever help we get is needed.

Nathaniel in Georgia
I served in the Army for 30 years. I have shopped at Grocery Stores downtown in North Carolina, Okinawa Japan, Ft Greely Alaska, Fort Sam Houston Texas, Ft Riley Kansas, and Presently here in Columbus Ga at Fort Benning. I have found that none of the Grocery Stores down town could compare with the Commissaries as for service and prices. Most service members are under paid, but expected to fight for this country. Commissaries are important to Military personnel, because it allows soldiers to feed their families, and not have to worry about having to scrape up money to feed their families, and not worry while they are deployed about their families having to face the higher prices in the downtown stores. The same goes for the Exchanges also. Service members are not paid salaries that would make them rich, but it is perks like these helps these individuals to fight for their country and not worried about inflated prices down town. Keep these services and keep a Military with high morale that is able serve America in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places.

Connie in California
I am a disabled retiree and were it not for being able to shop at the commissary it would be very difficult to feed my family. It seems that if something works out for the military, Congress is always trying to change it and never for the better. Please leave our benefits alone.

Colleen in Florida
It would be like giving the military a pay cut to raise the prices in the commissaries. We have been retired for 25 years and still do all our shopping at the commissaries, and will continue to do so. They have excellent quality and for people with a family it is the ideal situation. It is part of what makes the military a way of life. My husband served 23 years to earn this benefit. It's like taking a cut in retired pay. Does the congress anticipate a decrease in their per diem rate? I think not! We earned ours, they bought theirs.

Linda in Colorado
I keep hearing about "benefits" but we continue to FIGHT for each and every one with poor admin practices and painfully slow turnaround time - don't even try to explain a situation to a human being because they will tell you you're required to "submit it in writing." The commissary is a benefit I can USE!!!!! Don't take it away.

Teka in California
My family and I are from Oregon. Coming to NC the cost of living is a lot more expensive. Being able to shop at our local Commissary gives us the ability to save money, and still provide a healthy diet for our family...

William in Colorado
Closing the commissaries and the Exchanges is another bad idea. The Congress might as well just take away all the special services that are provided for the Troops and their Families.

Jacqueline in Arizona
Without the commissary our family would struggle to buy groceries. Grocery shopping off base would put a serious strain on our finances. Soldiers do not make a lot of money and trying to support a family without the commissary would be nearly impossible. Don't close my commissary!!

Carolyn in Arizona
I have been shopping at the commissary for 30 yrs. Now that I'm retired and on a fixed income the commissary is more important than ever. It saves me a lot of money compared to the local supermarket. Congress needs to do away with waste not take away benefits that are needed.

Kim in Hawaii
I know that there are other programs that can be looked at before you take our commissary. There are plenty of other ways that money is wasted and it would even make more sense to cut the post theater, library or even the gas station before you take away the commisary benefit. We shop the commissary to save our families money and it makes up for the high price we pay of packing up our lives and moving where we are needed. Many times we end up in high cost areas and make great sacrifies and the costs are off set by having these benefits. Please make the wise choice and look at other ways money can be saved.

Stacy in California
If my husband and I didn't have the Commisary I don't know how we would survive. We don't live next to base so we go have one large grocery shopping day there a month and spend around $400 which fills our whole kitchen. On the days where we just want a few small things or just dinner supplies and we decide to run to our local Ralphs, we end up spending $100 just on a few basics. It's robbery!!  The Commisary is awesome and we would be broke if we couldn't use it. Please think of the growing families that support our freedom and save our benefits!

Chuck in Virginia
Mr. President, Congresspersons, Senators, and Mr. Panetta,
Please consider, as a retiree I don't receive a substantial annual COLA increase, as most of you receive a substantial raise in pay each year. The savings I, and quite a lot of fellow retirees, NOT TO MENTION the ACTIVE Duty personnel rely on here in Dahlgren Virginia, is the Commissary. The trivial stipend you plan to provide to the Military family does not, in any way, make up for the expense incurred by your inconsideration by defunding the commissary system. Please reconsider the Congressional Budget Office proposal, Option 6. It would have a negative effect on us here.

Tony in Missouri
I am originally from Southern CA & the closest Commissary to me was in San Pedro CA (Ft Macarthur.)  I relocated to Kansas City MO and found out there was once a Commissary @ Richards Gebauer in Belton but it had closed. Well to make this story short they built another one later down the road. My wife uses it every week even though it is a small one it has everything you need just like a mini mart. They have closed the PX but found out yesterday they are going to reopen sometime Jan/Feb. "Please Do Not Close my Commissary" The next closest one is either @ Ft. Leavenworth KS or Whiteman AFB in Nob Noster.

David in Kansas
I have worked in a commissary for nine years. I enjoy helping people. The mother with three small children, the sweet old man with one good arm, the widows, the young soldiers that need directions on and off post. The exchanges and commissaries are earned benefits that they all depend on. It is wrong to cut benefits that people have already earned fair and square.

Brandi in Arizona
Like so many other stories shared here, ours is similar. Our family kept all of the promises we made as a military family. My husband is retired and on disability. He served well, and we supported his career. I worked wherever the Army took us. Our benefits make the many compromises we made, easier to cope with. Without the commissary, we would struggle to make ends meet. WIth coupons & the commissary I save at least 2,000.00 a year, which is like money in our pockets. We figure this pays for medical insurance, gas, utilities & medications. So if our commissary goes, so do the dollars that pay for these expenses. And for our young military families, this would be horrific. Many struggle as it is to make ends meet and they deserve so much better for the sacrifices they make.

Melanie in Missouri
I rely almost completely on my commissary. Other than the dirty, overpriced grocery store off base, there is nothing else for 15 miles. Commissary benefits were a major factor in our deciding to join the Air Force. Please help me support my family and my airman by keeping the commissary benefits we rely on just to make ends meet.

Ronald in Oregon
I'm retired Air Force and it sickens me to think this most valued benefit "the commissary" is on the brink of dissolving at the hands of corrupt politicians that got us into this mess. This benefit was promised to me when I signed my commission and fulfilled my duties to my country for over 20 years! Before a dime is taken from the Defense Commissary Agency, I would like to see the benefits and pay reduced from our so called leaders so that they match what the "Voters" have to live with!

Kathleen in Ohio
Our family is a proud military unit. We didn't enlist our family in the military to get rich. However, at times it seems to be a bit of a struggle to make ends meet. If Congress decides to eliminate our commissary and exchange benefits it will make it impossible to raise a healthy family much less survive. Please do not end these benefits, we are a strong military family but if faced with this, re-enlisted will no longer be an option for us.

Tamra in California
Please save our commissary & exchanges. I shop weekly at both stores. There are also many families who rely on the savings that make much less. This plea is not only for my family but for all military families both active and retired!!

Ashley in Missouri
The benefits my husband and I receive are greatly appreciated and fully used! As a young military family trying to make it, we already struggle, this includes doing our shopping on base. We have the typical bills that a young married couple has. if prices were to go up, we would be in even greater trouble trying to make ends-meet in an already troubled economy! Our military are the ones putting their necks LITERALLY on the line....don't you think they deserve a few perks? After all, they are the ones fighting to keep this country where it is. Think about that before you go cutting benefits that the military deserves. Especially considering many young families have 1 or multiple children to also feed! Think about that!

Randall in California
My ex-wife is an active duty member who provides dependent privileges to our children. As a single parent with three children we could not make ends meat without the savings afforded us at the commissaries. Their mother's commitment to our country has afforded them quality healthcare and what I have calculated over the years at over 40% savings. These savings have made all the difference in the world to my children.

Lorraine - CONUS
I am opposed to any combination of the commissaries with the exchanges. I understand that the exchanges are not funded with government money. But the commissaries are in order to offset the high cost of groceries. As the cost of living is getting higher and retirement benefits are stagnant, it is important the commissary costs are kept at the lowest possible costs. I realize the whole country needs to cut back. But those who are in the military and have committed over 20 years were told they would have certain benefits upon retiring. Now I understand that Congress wants the military and their families to pay more for health care costs. Military pay has never kept pace with the public. This is one reason benefits at the commissary and exchange as well as health care are lower for military personnel and their families. Please do not reduce these benefits. I suggest that Congress members have their benefits cut instead. They are all wealthy and can afford their own benefits - especially health care. Cut their support staff and make them pay for their own support staff and their benefits. I am shocked to see that John McCain thinks military health care should be cut back and that military and their dependents pay higher portions for their medical care!

Seirra in Florida
I am a military spouse to an USAF active duty member. My husband is an E3, and as all military families know, an E3 makes about $1,600.00 a month after taxes. To feed my family, we spend at LEAST $150.00 - $200.00 every 2 weeks. That is 1/4 of our paycheck! If we were to be shopping out in town, we could easily be paying $200.00 - $300.00! To those of you in congress, that might not seem like a big jump. But for those of us in the lower/middle class, that is a HUGE increase. We live paycheck to paycheck as it is. Please dont take away one of the only anemities that make our service member's crappy pay, a little bit less crappy.

Shelly in Tennessee
Our military commissaries are one of the only ways my husband and I have been able to stay ahead in the military. A military life isn't easy and the perks we get are what helps manage the stress that we encounter as we give our service to our country. It seems little by little these are being taken away from us, making my husband and I loose faith in the system that was designed to take care of our families while we volunteered to stand for our country in war time and peace. The military didn't put the budget in the mess it is currently in, congress did. Find a way to fix your problems without hurting everyone but yourselves!

Dustin in Washington
In a time when money is tight for the the entire world I am apalled to think that one of the best benefits to being in the military is in jeopardy. We already get paid well below what the job entails. So now that our country is being forced to tighten it's belt do you think service members will receive a pay or housing allowance increase to compensate the loss of this benefit, I think not. During long deployments when times are even tougher and money needs to be stretched further often times the commissary or exchange becomes a safe haven for those of us living so frugally. Our family is typically able to channel funds into other expenses, due to higher living costs, that our BAH does not cover from the savings we receive from shopping on base. Please don't let those who have more than enough money to pay our family for years decide to cut a benefit that compensates the honorable service of my husband and the other 1% of our population currently serving.

Ed - CONUS
I spent 23 years in the Military to receive good benefits for retirement. I do not know who continues to think of ways to cut back. I do not see any benefits cut for the Congress or Senators. I send e-mails to everyone I know to no avail, But; I continue to worry if the Government will cut my Military, Social Security, or Tricare Benefits.

Kellilynn in Washington

I joined thhe Navy in 2002 and was honorably discharged in 2010. My husband is still Active Duty and I am now a full time student. We have 4 rapidly growing children. My Post 9-11 benefits have already been drastically cut to where I do not receive the full BAH for breaks, even if I'm enrolled full time for the next quarter, the BAH is supposed to off set the fact that I'm not working but going to school full time. I guess I should try finding a job for only a week or 2 just to have the income that was promised to me when I switched to the Post 9-11 GI Bill. Now they also want to change retirement benefits! Taking away the commissary will be exactly like taking away the benefits of the GI Bill. The military honestly do not make enough to have to shop out in town and spend $700 when at the commissary it would've cost $350. I don't see them spending deployments away from home, missing birthdays and holidays or fighting for our freedom like the military does. Taking the commissary away feels to us how losing their 6 figure salary would feel to them.

Susi in Washington
I was raised in the military, went military myself and married into the military.  My husband spent 24 years in the Navy, with many of our stations being "armpits" around the world.  We lived (almost literally) hand-to-mouth for many years, with the commissary being the one place we could find some "tastes of home" and, at the same time, stretch our dollars.  Now that we're both retired, I take our coupons to the commissary to make our retirement income go further.  Although we received less over the years while we were in the military, it was okay because we had (among other things) our commissary benefits, and we were told they would continue to be available to us when we did retire.  Please, don't go back on the promise.  Save our commissary benefits!
 
Lorena in Washington
"My husband and I met in December of 1986 while serving the Navy in Norfolk VA at the chowhall. We married in February of 1987.  In our twenty- four years of marriage we have used the commissary exclusively to shop for our groceries. We buy most of our families clothes, bedding and bath towels at the NEX.  We have ten children. Eight of whom are still living at home. My husband served the Navy for twenty one years and is now an employee of the Navy as a civilian. We are able to feed our family well because of the savings the commissary affords us. When we joined the military one of the "sales pitches" that the recruiters were able to make was that groceries and other things were at a significant savings because of the fact that rarely does the military receive cost of living raises as the civilian sector does. It would be a hard blow on our family to see the prices raise much more than they do now. Already I have noticed a significant price hike in our groceries. To increase that more would really make it a challenge to feed our family well. The NEX is another place that our family benefits from. We use the lay-a-way program faithfully. I have been able to purchase new clothing for our children that I can not do at stores in town. Otherwise my children get their clothing from thrift stores or hand-me-downs from friends. Nothing wrong with that, however it means alot to me to be able to buy new clothing for my children. The NEX affords me this priviledge. Having served the Navy as a military member for two and a half years and wife to a military member for 21 years, I believe that we have more than earned the right to have these priviledges. Especially since as a military member we get salary not by the hour, it is the least that our government can do for their employees. If the Commissary raises its prices, I believe there may be a reduction in commissary sales as patrons look elsewhere for cost comparisons and scrutinize prices more closely at other grocery stores."
 
Dianne - CONUS
  

"My husband served 30years in the navy and was promised a lot of things when he retired. We lived on very little money back then because the pay was not very good. We now live in Oak Harbor, WA and use the commissary on the base as our main shopping store. We are on a set income and with what happened on wall street our investments aren't doing what we hoped for. Taking away our commissary would be a great hardship." 

David in Virginia
"The money that's saved helps me to stay ahead of my bills and to lose this and to tell me to buy elsewhere is a major blow to my lifestyle and budget." 

Kelly in Missouri
"Not sure what my family would do without our commissary. With the money we save I'm able to put money away for my kids for college. Without it, I'm not sure what we'd do!"

Robert in Washington 
"I am a retired USNR MCPO who lives on Whidbey Island, in Washington state.  I consider the Whidbey Island military Commissary to be one of my most valuable benefits, as a military retiree.  Please don't mess with my Commissary benefits."

Michelle in Washington
"This is  not only my job but how my family makes ends meet.  Without this benefit not sure how I would be able to afford to shop in off base stores.  Especially considering I won't have a job and my husbands retirement check barely covers our mortgage.  He is in school trying to get an education so my little DeCA Check, as well as shopping there, means the world to us."

Lori - Overseas / OCONUS

"Please don't take away our commissary and exchange.  Being overseas, on-base shopping is the only taste of "home" that we have.  I love the experience of living in another country and culture, but our on-base shopping allows a safe-haven from the culture shock."

Stephen in Washington

"The commissary is a big savings for our active duty and retired military and their dependents.  Don't close my commissary, help us keep our benefits we have earned through our service"

Cindra in Washington

"I am a commissary shopper and an employee. I appreciate my benefits because I save lots of money on my groceries.  As a employee I have been in the Deli/Bakery for seventeen years and enjoy my job. I have made lots of friends with the employees and customers.  The customers are my favorite.  I worry about the retired community and the active duty losing their benefits and me too. Military people have earned these benefits serving their country and to take it away from them would be wrong. Then you are also causing people to lose their jobs. That includes many military and New Leaf people which are mentally and physically handicapped too. They stock and do other jobs in the commissaries." Closing or consolidating the Commissaries and Exchanges will ". . .cause people to lose jobs when we are suppose to be trying to put people back to work. How would you feel if someone took away your benefits that you earned and were promised?"

William in Virgina
"I am retired with 30 yrs, live alone, and have to shop very carefully.  I get help at commissaries from fellow Veterans, and I can't afford higher food prices, and trying to cut back to make bills meet the monthly limit.  Live now on S/S and retirement which is not really a bundle."

Melinda in Washington
"We would not survive as a Family with 3 growing children without the commissary benefit!  I'm here to say that we would have to use coupons and not eat what is healthy for us and go into the food bank without this benefit. I cannot believe that we are here this day talking about loosing this privilidge that has been given to our Families after serving for 24 yrs, this is a shame ! DON'T CLOSE MY COMMISSARY !!"