Military Post Exchanges In Jeopardy Over Defense Budget Cuts [AUDIO]
A program that benefits enlisted personnel and their families that has become a vital part of their ability to make ends meet is in jeopardy.
Washington is considering defense cuts that would close post commissaries and exchanges.
Patrick Nixon is president of the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits. He says the so-called, "military resale benefits" are a great value for the taxpayer and crucial for what he calls, "the other one percent"...those in uniform and their families. Nixon says from 2009 to 2010, there was a 70 percent increase in the use of food stamps by members of our military. He says, "that's not what we want for our military and that is not what they deserve."
Nixon says members of the military put their lives on the line to defend our freedom, and they deserve the best quality of life possible. It's estimated the typical military family saves about 65-hundred dollars of their meager income annually by shopping at commissaries and exchanges.
The Coalition says the military resale system is a 150-year-old benefit that provides millions in annual savings to military personnel, billions of dollars in added employment income for military families and underwrites other billions of dollars in vital on-base community programs and facilities. They claim the system also offers tremendous value to patrons, and stabilizes and strengthens military households by being a major employer for spouses, retirees and dependents.