Commissaries, exchanges welcoming more veterans in 2020

Beginning New Year’s Day, commissaries, post exchanges and recreational facilities across the Department of Defense will open their doors to more than 4.1 million additional veterans, Army officials said.
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WASHINGTON — Beginning New Year’s Day, commissaries, post exchanges and recreational facilities across the Department of Defense will open their doors to more than 4.1 million additional veterans, Army officials said.

Privileges will be extended to veterans who are Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war, and all who have any level of service-connected disabilities. Individuals who are designated as primary family caregivers of eligible veterans will also be granted privileges if they are recognized under the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

“This is great news, and long overdue,” said Michael Dukes, a newly eligible veteran for post retail privileges, and a former staff sergeant. “I think this is the honorable thing to do for those who served their country in uniform.”

For some returning veterans, it has been a long time since they were on a military installation or in a commissary or military exchange, said Army officials, but they added each of these new patrons has contributed to the military community, either through a service-related sacrifice, or caring for a veteran with a service-connected disability.

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Author: Dian Welle