Commissary ranks among service members' best benefits

2 May 2005 | #NAME?

Shopping at military commissaries is a prime perk for service members and their families, a senior noncommissioned officer said today at a Defense Commissary Agency-sponsored exhibit at the Pentagon.

Army Master Sgt. Kevin K. Thibeault said the ability to shop at commissaries ranks among "one of the best benefits" of military service.

Thibeault, a native of Beecher Falls, Vt., and father of four children, is preparing to retire after 22 years of service. Thibeault plans to continue to shop at commissaries after retirement, he said, because commissaries offer below-market-value prices.

"And they're the only ones who do that," he emphasized.

May is Commissary Awareness Month, said Bonnie J. Powell, a DeCA marketing specialist who greeted Thibeault and other visitors at a table filled with commissary literature set along a Pentagon hallway.

People were invited to write why they love the commissary on a nearby message board. Thibeault wrote: "Thank you for the support. 1 of our best benefits! - MSG T"

Two costumed DeCA mascots, "Private Pickle" and "Kool-Aid Man," Powell said, would be on hand during the day to greet the public. The DeCA promotion team returns to the Pentagon May 16, she said.

Powell pointed out that commissary customers get great value for their money and could expect an average savings on their grocery purchases of 30 percent or more.

Retired Petty Officer 1st Class Kathy Taylor, who stopped by Powell's display table, said she appreciates her commissary benefit.

"I think its pretty good, price wise," Taylor noted, adding, "I do a lot of saving" at the commissary.

The agency is also planning to set up a display on Washington's National Mall this week as part of the military's expansive array of equipment for annual Public Service Recognition Week.

Headquarters Marine Corps