Don’t shortchange military commissaries
In response to comments that military commissaries should be overseas only because they cost too much and there are other options when living in the U.S. [“You can bag military commissaries,” Aug. 6]: Have you ever been stationed at the National Training Center in California?
Forty-six miles to quite possibly the most decrepit Wal-Mart in the world with gas prices at $3.69 per gallon for 85 octane on a 110-degree day (assuming you have access to a vehicle), and that is the next-closest grocery store.
While I agree that commissaries are expensive for the government and that there are often other options that may help a soldier stretch his paycheck, there are advantages to the commissary that are often overlooked:
1. Many teen dependents get their first jobs as baggers at the commissary. This is often much easier than getting a job off post.
2. Name-brand products for store-brand prices.
3. Where else in the U.S. will you get some of those German treats that you get a taste for without having to go to an expensive store?
I am sure there are other advantages I haven’t thought of. Maybe in some locations, closing commissaries might be a good idea, but so long as we have family housing on base, we should keep commissaries open.
— Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Alan Mascheck, Fort Irwin, Calif.
As a person who works at the commissary, I think it is sad and shortsighted that this newspaper would print a letter stating how useless the commissary is to everyone but the people overseas.
There are many people, including veterans, dependents and locals who work for the commissary, who supply good, cheap products for much less than the local stores.
Not one of the local stores has as much of a selection as the commissary, as good a produce selection as the commissary, or as good a selection of foreign foods that many people have become accustomed to.
At the fort I live near, none of the local stores is as cheap as the commissary or provides as good of a bakery or deli as the commissary.
There are thousands of people daily who come through each commissary I have worked at who utilize this benefit, and thousands more people who would be devastated if this particular benefit were taken away.
— Melanie Bush, Columbus, Ga.