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Thursday, June 14, 2012
Pentagon Cuts Could Eliminate Commissaries, Exchanges
By News Release @ 1:20 PM :: 10401 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics


From The American Logistics Association Hawaii

At a time when budget reductions are under consideration, a coalition of military families, advocacy groups and Hawaii businesses have formed to preserve the highly valued shopping privileges on military bases.

There’s a plan in Congress that could result in the elimination of the military resale system – and a significant rise in the cost of groceries for military families and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

This plan would impact more than 164,000 military service members, retirees, and family members who live on Oahu. Commissaries and exchanges are essential to the fabric of military members’ quality of life in Hawaii. Commissary shoppers in Hawaii save 50.7% with annual savings for a family of four of $7,360.

Not only does the commissary and exchange system provide valuable services to those who serve our country, the military resale system represents a valuable market for Hawaii companies.

In 2010, DeCA (Defense Commissary Agency) purchased products valued at $40 million from 93 local companies and additionally $4.7 million (5.2 million pounds) of locally grown produce.

Your voice counts and you can help by speaking out on behalf of Hawaii’s service members and their families.

Service members and their families serve our nation and deserve high quality products in a secure shopping environment.

The potential impact of this cut-and-consolidate plan is the loss of the benefit and the loss of the $5.6 billion in annual savings military families currently enjoy by shopping in the commissaries and exchanges.

Touting the significant household savings that commissaries and exchanges bring to military families, the Save our Benefit Coalition aims to take a series of measures to insulate from budget reductions what is considered the most efficient and effective benefit provided to military people.

Shopping at the military commissaries and exchanges is a 150-year-old benefit that provides thousands of dollars in savings to service members and their families in Hawaii.

The American Logistics Association Hawaii, a group of member companies who sells products and services to commissaries and exchanges, is speaking out on behalf of this benefit that enhances service members quality of life. ALA Hawaii companies represent the broad spectrum of grocery and specialty products including local coffee, meat, produce, beverages and snack foods.

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) operates four commissaries on Oahu and a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus 5% surcharge, which covers the cost of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones.

The military resale system also strengthens the American economy by promoting American products overseas and has generated more than $20 billion in earnings over the past 20 years, which has been plowed back into funding programs and facilities for military families. These facilities are funded by the patrons and then given back to the taxpayer as they become part of the Government’s inventory. The system is also an extremely powerful job engine, providing more than 30,000 well-paying jobs to veterans and military families.

The Coalition To Save Our Military Shopping Benefits supports more than 12 million military families, civilian employees, retirees and veterans. We urge individuals, corporations, associations, other coalitions, government representatives and the media to show their support.

Visit the National Save our Benefit Website>


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