U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) introduced legislation to extend military commissary and exchange store privileges to disabled former service members and their families.
“This bill provides for the needs of our disabled military personnel and their families in the Central Valley and across the nation,” said Denham.
Commissaries are stores, typically located on military bases, that sell food and household items at cost plus 5 percent; exchanges offer competitive prices and tax-free shopping.
Presently, if a former service member is separated due to a disability, rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs at less than a 100 percent service connected disability, they are not considered a full retiree and do not have access to these stores.
The stores are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense and the privilege to shop them is considered an integral part of the benefits and compensation package provided to military members.
“Taking care of our heroes who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom is a necessary benefit,” said Denham. “Veterans and their families should not lose access to the cost savings of shopping at a commissary simply because they were disabled in the line of duty.”
Denham described H.R. 342 as a common-sense solution, explaining that the legislation would ensure that disabled veterans and their families have access to commissary and exchange stores.
There are more than 2,400 of these types of facilities giving military members access to goods at lower costs and with easier access.
The bill was previously introduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 1131. Full bill text is available here.