MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- After closing its doors a year ago sealing away bargains for base residents, the Armed Services YMCA held a grand opening of the Thrift Shop April 15.
Through support and an abundant amount of donations from base personnel, the ASYMCA wanted to extend their appreciation to Marines and Sailors by offering free uniforms.
"It's our policy not to sell uniforms to active duty Marines," said Anita L. Neu-Fultz, ASYMCA executive director.
"You guys work very hard, so this is our way to thank and honor our Marines," added Neu-Feltz.
Inappropriate use of uniforms by civilians was a contributing factor to implementing uniforms free of charge for active duty Marines and Sailors.
Apparently non-military personnel were getting hold of Marine uniforms, selling them to other civilians, and wearing them, said Neu-Feltz.
"We want to protect the honor of wearing the uniform--that's why they're free here at the store," said Neu-Feltz.
Seconds after Jennifer A. Brown unlocked the shop's doors for business, a handful of customers scurried in looking for bargains.
"I was excited to see the store open because of the demand to have the store re-open," said Brown, the shop's manager and Marine spouse.
"My husband is a Marine so it's good to give back, not only to him but to everyone else," added Brown.
Brown gives credit to base personnel who support the shop with donations so other families may enjoy discounted items.
"I like it because there are families that can use a place like this," said Shelvaray D. Rimes, a Marine wife. "We have four kids, so it’s great to save money."
Also available are clothes for all ages, shoes, toys, kitchenware, furniture and much more.
All funds raised from the shop go toward ASYMCA programs, said Neu-Feltz.
The Thrift Shop is located at Del Valle Drive and Mineral. Scheduled hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m. The shop is also open the first Saturday of every month.