America’s soldiers may be earning their pay during the government-shutdown showdown, but they aren’t able to buy groceries at military commissaries.
All 175 commissaries in 46 states and the District of Columbia were closed indefinitely on Wednesday, a Defense Commissary Agency spokesman confirmed.
“We are closed until the government shutdown is resolved,” DECA media specialist Kevin Robinson said.
The commissaries are military grocery stores that sell food items to soldiers, retirees, and their families at cost plus a modest surcharge. Patrons save about 30 percent on their food bills compared with commercial groceries; little wonder the commissary benefit is consistently rated the most popular perk of military service in customer surveys.
Sixty-eight commissaries in 12 countries, Puerto Rico, and Guam will remain open, however.
Ironically, many patrons of shuttered domestic commissaries are family members of a “sponsor” serving in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and other hot spots. They’re struggling to make ends meet at home alone, and their grocery bill just surged.
“You can be sure a lot of those House Republicans will start hearing from their military constituents about this,” one locked-out commissary patron fumed.
Many commissaries are located at bases throughout the South in congressional districts represented by many House GOP lawmakers adamantly opposed to funding the government unless Obamacare is defunded or delayed.
Military families plainly saw the crunch coming, however, and prepared for the shutdown as they might have in advance of a hurricane — by blitzing commissaries and cleaning off store shelves.
Total commissary sales for the last day the commissaries were open totaled $30.6 million, more than double the normal daily volume, and the top sales day in 13 years.
What We're Following See More »
Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."
"Ret. Vice Adm. Bob Harward turned down President Donald Trump's offer to be national security adviser Thursday, depriving the administration of a top candidate for a critical foreign policy post days after Trump fired Michael Flynn." Among the potential reasons: his family, his lack of assurances that he could build his own team, and that "the White House seems so chaotic."
"The House passed a resolution Thursday re-opening the door for states to block Planned Parenthood from receiving some federal funds. The measure, which passed 230-188, would reverse a last-minute rule from the Obama administration that said conservative states can't block the women's health and abortion provider from receiving family planning dollars under the Title X program."