I urge that H.R. 1131 (Mr. Denham for himself, Mr.
Stivers, Mr. Farenthold, and Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois) which was
referred to the Committee on Armed Services be immediately sent to the floor
for vote and that you support its passageto amend title 10, United States Code, to extend military commissary and
exchange store privileges, without time-period limitation, to members of the
Armed Forces who are involuntarily separated with a service-connected
disability and also to extend such privileges to their dependents. Further I
urge that H.R 1131 be retroactive to include previous service members so
separated as to not do so is discriminatory and unjust.
This petition closed 11 months ago
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic Report of March 20, 2013 states: "In 2012, the unemployment rate for male Gulf War-era II veterans age 18 to 24 was 20.0 percent, higher than the rate...
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic Report of March 20, 2013 states: "In 2012, the unemployment rate for male Gulf War-era II veterans age 18 to 24 was 20.0 percent, higher than the rate for non-veterans of the same age group of 16.4 percent". Though no data was provided for disabled veteran unemployment, persons with disabilities face greater employment challenges as well. According to the bureau's statistics the unemployment rate of persons with disabilities is 20.7%. Given that the majority of service-disabled veterans returning from the Gulf War-era II are within the 18 to 24 demographic their unemployment rate could be as high as 30 percent due to disabilities putting these veterans at an extreme economic disadvantage.
Given these statistics access to commissaries and exchanges increases the buying power for service-disabled veterans who have limited incomes which is why this benefit is critical to feeding and clothing themselves as well as their families.
An "Army Times" article of December 3, 2012 states "...commissary patrons 'save 32 percent at commissaries and 24 percent at exchanges, according to independent surveys and market basket analysis. This equates to $4.584 billion per year in savings.'" In this "Army Times" article it was reported that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recommends closing commissaries as a cost cutting measure despite the saving they provide which is extremely critical for low-salaried junior enlisted personnel with families. Moreover profits from commissaries and exchanges fund Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Programs that benefit those serving and their families. Increasing customers by allowing these service-disabled veterans access to commissaries and exchanges increases profits.
To close commissaries (and/or exchanges) would be injurious to all military members and their families on numerous levels. Supporting this legislation not only provides a modest benefit at no increased taxpayer cost for veterans separated for service incurred disabilities it also assures that commissaries and exchanges continue to operate and assures that MWR Programs get critically needed funding.