Re- Open GEORGIA COMMISSARY'S AND PX(exchanges)

Re- Open GEORGIA COMMISSARY'S AND PX(exchanges)

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kenneth Gilmore started this petition to Congressman, Congresswoman, Senators of The Great State of Georgia and

First, I would like to thank you for your unwavering support of our Military veterans, family members, and survivors. Your dedication to protecting earned entitlements for these American families means more than words can express to many of our veteran organizations. The organizations and many retirees are extremely grateful to have you as our representatives. We once again ask for your support in supporting a measure that will Re-open our commissaries and AAFES EXCHANGE service stores in the state of Georgia.

The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries that provides groceries to military personnel, retirees, and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons hundreds to thousands of dollars annually on their purchases, compared to similar products at commercial retailers. There is a 5-percent surcharge, a small addition, that covers the costs of building new and modernizing existing commissaries. Some of the veteran organizations see opening commissaries where larger populations of veterans live as an opportunity to financially help both veterans and the suffering commissary system. In recent years and under stricter use rules, the commissaries have had fewer shoppers.

On January 1, 2020, access for shopping at commissaries and exchanges expanded to include all: service-connected disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former POW's, and primary veteran caregivers. For years, eligibility to shop at on-base commissaries and exchanges in the United States has been primarily limited to active-duty troops, members of the National Guard and reserves, and military retirees and their family members. These new privileges recognize the service and sacrifice of these veterans and those that care for them throughout the years.

Whether veterans shopped at the commissary, EXCHANGE (PX) while they were on active duty, or if they are first-time shoppers, we are sure they will enjoy the savings and excellent customer experience associated with this benefit—one that is long overdue.

Most Commissaries, and Exchanges indirectly support ancillary businesses, that set up shop outside their  doors. Many of these small businesses are veteran-owned and cater specifically to the military and veteran community. The impact of not reopening base commissaries, and Exchanges goes far beyond the impact on the family food budget. Many military spouses and retirees are employed by commissaries, and if more commissaries opened, the family budget would stretch further and could increase some families’ income. For the spouses that are already working for a commissary, or  Exchange at other base locations, the job is transferable, if there are openings  available, when a family relocates to another installation. Portable jobs aren’t always easy to come by for military spouses and family members.

Unfortunately, most commissaries don’t turn a profit by design, commissaries operate on a surcharge model, pricing their goods at cost, plus a small surcharge to help cover the cost of the goods sold, in order to benefit its customers.

Now that the Department of Defense has announced that a new population of veterans will have access to commissary and Exchange privileges, we write to strongly urge you to find a way to swiftly reopen the commissary,Exchanges(PX) at Fort McPherson, Ft Gillem, and Dobbins Air Reserve Base to restore some missed and appreciated benefits to the veteran community.

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