Just got an email from Lori Stillman (from The Coalition to Save Our Military Resale Benefits), and I must say … WOW. Now, I am not a political person, and will probably never debate with you on politics, but this hits close to home. Well, in a way, it is home. We are so fortunate to have our Exchanges and Commissaries, which allow us to save tons every year, but that may soon be coming to a halt.
You may be aware that there is legislation pending in Washington that will dramatically change how Commissaries and Exchanges will operate and look in the future. Between S.277, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)’s proposal known as Option 6 and the “Back in Black” proposal by Senator Coburn (R-OK), there is a serious risk to the very system your audience depends heavily upon to meet the needs of their families.
The myriad of options currently under review in this current Congressional budget cycle range from:
- consolidating exchanges and commissaries
- cutting appropriate funding for commissaries and raising prices 5 – 7 percent (their estimate which we believe is low) across the board to compensate for the lost funding
- eliminating the commissary benefit completely (estimated to save a family of four $4,400/year and a single service member $1,500/year) and replacing it with a $400 annual voucher
While we understand the nation’s budget deficits need to be reined in, and we believe the objective of S.277 to fund health care for service members and veterans who were sickened by tainted water at MCB Camp Lejeune, NC is a worthy cause and long overdue, seeking to finance these problems with monies that belong to Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Guard and servers and their families is not the way to go.
[Please] share the efforts of The Coalition to Save Our Military Resale Benefits. This is a is a united coalition started by patrons, employees of the resale system and industry members with the mission to protect the shopping benefits (Defense Commissaries and Exchanges) that saves more than $5.6 Billion every year for our Service Members, their Families, Veterans, and Retirees.
We’ve started a grassroots campaign at www.saveourbenefit.org – check it out!
Any awareness you can bring to this threat to our military families is greatly appreciated. If you have questions that cannot be answered via the website, please don’t hesitate to contact the Coalition Office at 202-466-2520 or me personally at 703-653-1407.