In 2020, commissary shopping benefits expanded to include more Veterans, as the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 (part of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019) authorized the Department of Defense to expand access to commissary shopping privileges to additional valued members of the military community.

Expanding privileges

The law, which took effect January 1, 2020, extends commissary shopping privileges to:

  • Veterans with any VA-documented service-connected disabilities;
  • Purple Heart recipients;
  • Former prisoners of war; and
  • Individuals assessed, approved and designated as primary family caregivers to eligible Veterans under VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

Veterans and designated caregivers are encouraged to check their commissary privilege qualifications.

Obtaining the proper identification

Obtain a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) and ensure it reflects eligibility through one of the required designations: SERVICE CONNECTED, MEDAL OF HONOR, PURPLE HEART or FORMER POW. The card and designation will be required during the commissary check-out process.

Find out more about how to obtain a VHIC here.

Checking installation access policies

Contact the commissary’s installation and ask about current installation access policies.

Checking for “user” fees before paying

The law expanding commissary access also requires charging user fees when shoppers pay for purchases with commercial credit or debit cards. This fee imposes an additional 1.9% for credit cards and 0.5% for debit cards with a PIN. (The 1.9% fee also applies when using a signature debit card, because it is processed as a credit card transaction.)

Shoppers will not be subject to user fees if paying with the MILITARY STAR® card, cash or EBT. Learn more about the MILITARY STAR® card  here.

Enjoying commissary benefits, value

Commissaries serve shoppers who have served our Nation by selling groceries and household products to authorized customers at a substantial cost savings. Commissary benefits include:

  • A shopping environment exclusively serving the military community with a workforce that understands shopper needs.
  • Prices saving customers thousands of dollars per year, on average, when compared to commercial store prices.
  • Commissary Store Brands offering quality products on par with national brands and even greater savings.
  • Convenience of using CLICK2GO for online shopping and curbside pickup.
  • Additional savings through digital coupons and promotional sales flyers.

The commissary is here to serve those who have served our Nation. For more information, visit Your Commissary.

By Courtney Rogers serves as the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate.

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Published on Mar. 23, 2022

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

Views to date: 13,941

92 Comments

  1. M. Lee W. April 21, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    I find it sad that those who either did not serve for 20+ years or who are not service connected disabled would complain that they are not eligible to use Commissary facilities. While I understand the idea that these individuals would like to use the Commissary, I also need to point out that those of us who served 20+ years or were injured, truly gave our all. I personally served for 24 years and incurred multiple war injuries over multiple deployments. To be blunt, we have put in the time, payed the price, and earned the right. When you joined, you knew retirement was 20 years. For whatever reason, you chose not to “stick it out”. There are some things that must be earned. To ask for that which you have not earned shows both a lack of understanding and a lack of character. First and foremost you should have joined for love of country, not for love of benefits.

  2. Dan April 11, 2022 at 11:42 am

    I have a 0% service connected disability but I’m not eligible for a VHIC due to earning more than the allowed amount under eligibility category 8E. It’s been more than two years since the commissary privilege was put into effect, but without a VHIC, we can’t access that privilege, even though the law provides for anyone with a service connected disability to have the privilege. What is the expected timeframe to grant the commissary privilege to people who cannot obtain a VHIC? Thanks!

  3. Fred W March 30, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    I am thrilled to be granted access to certain base facilities such as the Exchange and Commissary. I wish I did not have to pay a surcharge using a credit card.
    The only drawback is that if we want to bring a spouse or visitor, we have to go to the visitors center to get them a 6 to 24 hour pass.
    Wish we could be the sponsor just on our ID. I hope this would change.

  4. Rodney Renkas March 25, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    drafted and always shafted.

  5. Jeffrey Straw March 24, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    What is up with service fees for using a credit/ debit card unless it is the star card and then, end with a quote

    “The commissary is here to serve those who have served our Nation. ”at the end of the article.

    I was really surprised by lack of access for “those that have served”. That’s just wrong. We are way past the mindset of America during the Vietnam war. But then….you get a slap in the face.

    It’s an oxymoron

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 8, 2022 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you for your question, sir! My name is Courtney Rogers, and as the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, I’d like to address this. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Card Acquiring Service pays the processing fees that commissaries incur by accepting debit cards and Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards. As you mentioned, veterans and caregivers who are eligible for commissary privileges solely through this expansion in eligibility must pay a small user fee when using these commercial credit and debit cards to make commissary purchases.

      This is because the law authorizing this expansion requires that commissaries charge this fee to offset any increased expenses the Treasury Department would incur associated with processing these transactions. Because the Military Star card is a private Exchange card, its transactions are not processed through the Card Acquiring Service, so it is not subject to these requirements.

      As for not granting access to all who have served, it is important to note that this change in law under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code, was done to recognize the service of those who endured captivity during conflict, were wounded in combat or sustained a service-connected disability, as well as the individuals approved and designated as their caregivers under a formalized Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program.

      While we are grateful for the service of all honorably-discharged veterans, DoD infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of over 15 million additional veterans to these types of facilities without severely impacting its ability to provide these critical services to active-duty military personnel and their families, which is their primary responsibility.

  6. David Yonts March 24, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    I have 90% and also had prostate cancer. They removed my prostate and I had 37 radiation treatments. They now say that I’m cancer free and get no increase. Don’t understand

    • lrmansfield March 25, 2022 at 9:59 am

      apply for current conditions as secondary to your prostate treatment, ie increased frequesncy voiding, ed, loss of use etc. submit with diagnosis from your urologist

  7. Ronald Kiehl March 24, 2022 at 5:58 pm

    In 2018 -2019, an attempt was made to get ALL Veterans commissary eligibility, but it only resulted in getting eligibility expanded any Vet with a Service Connected Disability VA Card. The commissary concern was expanding this privilege to ALL Vets (even Non-SCD) would “flood” the commissaries with more customers than the commissaries could possibly handle. My recent experiences to the local Commissary show the commissary people are terrific, and I believe they can handle any workload. I do agree the spouse of an SCD Vet should also get commissary privileges. Unfortunately, as written, commissaries are considering “caregivers” to be people who are PAID to care for a Vet. Since parents who are caring for a disabled Vet are probably NOT “PAID,” the parents cannot use the commissary. What about the SCD Vet who may be bed-ridden or so badly physically disabled the Vet is unable to get to the commissary and the immediate family is providing the Vet’s care BUT the family “caregivers” are not considered to be PAID caregivers and, therefore, not eligible to use the commissary? This is not to meant to imply family members need to be paid by the government, but I am more than sure “family members” would appreciate commissary privileges to help make ends meet. I also believe severely HANDIACAPPED IMMEDIATE DEPENDENTS of an SCD Vet should have commissary privileges since the birth defects from those exposed to Agent Orange keeps changing – handicapped dependents of Vet need to be considered here. Lastly, since the VA Card does NOT grant access to an installation, IT SHOULD BE A “STANDARD” PRACTICE AT ALL INSTALLATIONS THAT A VET WITH A VA SCD CARD CARD SHOWING “SCD” BE GRANTED INSTALLATION ACCESS – SO THEY CAN GET TO THE COMMISSARY. I am grateful to now be able to use the commissaries, but I think the recent updated privilege needs to be expanded a bit more. Thanks to ALL the commissary employees. We love you. Sincerely, Ron Kiehl

    • Ronald Kiehl March 28, 2022 at 5:07 pm

      Commissary access is “governed” more by DoD than the commissary agency (i.e. DeCA). I would suggest getting your local senator or congressional representative involved. The more the merrier. Ron Kiehl

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 11, 2022 at 8:51 am

      Thank you for your feedback, sir! My name is Courtney Rogers, and as the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, I’d like to address this. During the first phase of rollout of these privileges, an authorized caregiver must be the individual assessed, approved and designated as the primary family caregiver of an eligible veteran under the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. This caregiver may or may not be the veteran’s spouse. Please visit https://www.caregiver.va.gov for information regarding the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

      Eligible primary family caregivers will be mailed a letter from the VA Office of Community Care that indicates their status as such and their eligibility for these shopping privileges. These caregivers will need to show an acceptable credential, such as a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or U.S. passport, and their eligibility letter for installation access and at the point of sale.

      As for not granting access to all who have served, it is important to note that this change in law implemented under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code, was done to recognize the service of those who endured captivity during conflict, were wounded in combat or sustained a service-connected disability, as well as the individuals approved and designated as their caregivers under a formalized Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program.

      While we are grateful for the service of all honorably-discharged veterans, DoD infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of over 15 million additional veterans to these types of facilities without severely impacting its ability to provide these critical services to active-duty military personnel and their families, which is their primary responsibility.

  8. Hellen Phelps March 24, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    So,so right. Vets have always , back to wwl have always been lied to, given miss informed information. The government is not doing anything new. Peat,and repeat

  9. Stevie L March 24, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    I am rated at 50% and do have visit at March Field and or VA facility @ Sepulveda. Prices not really that great. Too bad some of you guys and gals do not live near larger shopping areas. I understand. It is fun to talk to some of us older troops while at military facility, at least

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 11, 2022 at 12:40 pm

      hank you for reading our blog post and for your service! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, and I wanted to address your comments. First, to clarify, DeCA does not operate any commissaries for VA facilities; however, we do have a store at March ARB, as you mentioned: https://www.commissaries.com/shopping/store-locations/march-arb.

      Regarding prices, you can rest assured that we strive to offer the best overall prices and savings to our customers. However, it is important to note that, when it comes to individual products, each retailer may have different costs from their suppliers. DeCA periodically checks local prices near the installation at major retailers to ensure our customers are getting a good deal when they shop their commissary. If we find that our cost does not allow us to be priced as competitively as we should be, or provide the savings we are committed to provide, we work diligently with our suppliers to negotiate the best cost possible.

      DeCA also monitors and calculates savings on a regional basis, in different geographic areas, at different levels of specificity. The savings figures specific to each geographic area indicate how much, on average, a customer could expect to save on grocery purchases in comparison with local grocers in that area. The fiscal year 2021 pricing survey calculates the global savings average for commissaries at 22.5% compared to commercial stores.

      I’m happy to know that you enjoy shopping our stores and hope you found this information about our pricing helpful!

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 11, 2022 at 12:41 pm

      Thank you for reading our blog post and for your service! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, and I wanted to address your comments. First, to clarify, DeCA does not operate any commissaries for VA facilities; however, we do have a store at March ARB, as you mentioned: https://www.commissaries.com/shopping/store-locations/march-arb.

      Regarding prices, you can rest assured that we strive to offer the best overall prices and savings to our customers. However, it is important to note that, when it comes to individual products, each retailer may have different costs from their suppliers. DeCA periodically checks local prices near the installation at major retailers to ensure our customers are getting a good deal when they shop their commissary. If we find that our cost does not allow us to be priced as competitively as we should be, or provide the savings we are committed to provide, we work diligently with our suppliers to negotiate the best cost possible.

      DeCA also monitors and calculates savings on a regional basis, in different geographic areas, at different levels of specificity. The savings figures specific to each geographic area indicate how much, on average, a customer could expect to save on grocery purchases in comparison with local grocers in that area. The fiscal year 2021 pricing survey calculates the global savings average for commissaries at 22.5% compared to commercial stores.

      I’m happy to know that you enjoy shopping our stores and hope you found this information about our pricing helpful!

  10. Gregory Degay March 24, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    True, all veterans are not equal: however, all veterans under honorable conditions should at least be able to share commissary privileges. Don’t hate on other veterans who have served honorably, we all should remain united not divided. We separated early, but we separated honorably. Thank you all for the sacrifices that you’ve made for our GREAT COUNTRY.

    A Marine Corps. Veteran.
    Semper Fi!

    • Bob Mollicone March 24, 2022 at 6:10 pm

      Exactly. My brother’s with service connected disabilities should be an automatic for this benefit. But just because I served and was honorably discharged but [thank God] was not injured, I can not get any commissary privileges. Years ago it was one thing but in today’s world, all of us need a little help. Your VA medical care should entitle a veteran food benefits too

      • Defense Commissary Agency April 8, 2022 at 1:46 pm

        Thank you for reading this blog post and for your service, sir! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, and I wanted to address your comment.

        As I also shared with Mr. Degay above, the DoD, VA and the Department of Homeland Security collaborated to implement the new eligibility under the law to these individuals under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code. This was done to recognize the service of those who endured captivity during conflict, were wounded in combat or sustained a service-connected disability, as well as the individuals approved and designated as their caregivers under a formalized Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program.

        While we are grateful for the service of all honorably-discharged veterans, it’s important to note that DoD infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of over 15 million additional veterans to these types of facilities without severely impacting its ability to provide these critical services to active-duty military personnel and their families, which is their primary responsibility.

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 8, 2022 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you for reading this blog post and for your service, sir! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, and I wanted to address your comment.

      The DoD, VA and the Department of Homeland Security collaborated to implement the new eligibility under the law to these individuals under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code. This was done to recognize the service of those who endured captivity during conflict, were wounded in combat or sustained a service-connected disability, as well as the individuals approved and designated as their caregivers under a formalized Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program.

      While we are grateful for the service of all honorably-discharged veterans, it’s important to note that DoD infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of over 15 million additional veterans to these types of facilities without severely impacting its ability to provide these critical services to active-duty military personnel and their families, which is their primary responsibility.

  11. Jose E Cordero March 24, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    Absolutely agree %

  12. Nicholas March 24, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    All Veterans should have access to commissaries as well as VA medical care. It is garbage that everyone isn’t treated the same.

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 8, 2022 at 1:47 pm

      Thank you for reading this blog post! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, and I wanted to address your concern about everyone not being treated the same because the commissary benefit isn’t offered to all veterans.

      The DoD, VA and the Department of Homeland Security collaborated to implement the new eligibility under the law to these individuals under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code. This was done to recognize the service of those who endured captivity during conflict, were wounded in combat or sustained a service-connected disability, as well as the individuals approved and designated as their caregivers under a formalized Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program.

      While we are grateful for the service of all honorably-discharged veterans, it’s important to note that DoD infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of over 15 million additional veterans to these types of facilities without severely impacting its ability to provide these critical services to active-duty military personnel and their families, which is their primary responsibility.

  13. Jacqueline Chaput March 24, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    I am really getting tired of being discriminated against as an honorably discharged vet.

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 8, 2022 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you for reading this blog post and for your service, ma’am! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, and I wanted to address your concern about this.

      The DoD, VA and the Department of Homeland Security collaborated to implement the new eligibility under the law to these individuals under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code. This was done to recognize the service of those who endured captivity during conflict, were wounded in combat or sustained a service-connected disability, as well as the individuals approved and designated as their caregivers under a formalized Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program.

      While we are grateful for the service of all honorably-discharged veterans, it’s important to note that DoD infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of over 15 million additional veterans to these types of facilities without severely impacting its ability to provide these critical services to active-duty military personnel and their families, which is their primary responsibility.

  14. Fred Nelson March 24, 2022 at 11:08 am

    I served 12 years and have a VA disability. The program is working great for me. Ellsworth AFB is fifty miles away. I stopped at the base security outside the gate, handed them my VA card, and they registered me. I can now go on base without a hassle. Shopping at the commissary has been hassle-free. Except during the COVID lockdowns. I have also shopped at the BX. I am happy to have these privileges back and hope they continue.

  15. Frank LaBarron March 24, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Why was the Commissary
    In Syracuse NY closed?
    I enjoy shopping there it was a hour away
    There is one in Watertown Fort Drum
    Which is 3 hours away..
    There is one in Tobyhannain Pennsylvania which is
    3 hours away..

  16. Daryl Rodriguez March 24, 2022 at 9:21 am

    All honorably discharged veterans should be allowed to shop at the commissary. We served our country with honor, but yet we are not treated equal.

    • Elvis Acevedo Mora March 24, 2022 at 10:23 am

      Absolutely agree

    • Miguel March 24, 2022 at 10:28 am

      100% agree !

      • RJStuart April 12, 2022 at 11:41 am

        Illegal aliens get benefits but not
        Honorably discharged VETERANS
        What a COUNTRY

    • Mike March 24, 2022 at 11:45 am

      100%

    • William March 24, 2022 at 11:52 am

      The prices have been jacked up a long time ago.
      I felt they were doing the Vets a favor but not any more.

      • Eric March 24, 2022 at 1:27 pm

        They have definitely jacked up the prices! It’s cheaper to buy stuff at regular stores sometimes!

      • Philip March 24, 2022 at 8:49 pm

        Every Veteran that was discharged honorably served side by side with the more honored Veterans. There was NO distinction then, there should be none now. Veterans are Veterans, brothers & sisters alike. Whether you got a Purple Heart or not, you still are an honored veteran. Shopping at the store (commissary), should benefit all Vets.

    • Harriet Wilson Bronson March 24, 2022 at 11:54 am

      I concur,

      • Lee Dowdell March 24, 2022 at 1:26 pm

        I served 4 yrs from 66- 70 , i was not wounded and have no recognized military disabilities. Becouse i am fortunate that i was not wounded or disabled serving my country .you punish me by not extending some of the benefits that others get because of an injury they got and i didn’t.

    • Bryan March 24, 2022 at 12:16 pm

      As a 100% disabled veteran, I believe this actually cheapens the benefits of 100% disabled. Disabled veterans, in general, had no option to continue careers. Those who chose to leave service also chose to leave benefits that have always been reserved for active duty, retirees and 100% disabled veterans. All veterans are not equal.

      • Lisa March 24, 2022 at 7:05 pm

        Not true – I actually work with 100% disabled vet. Some definitely gamed the system unlike those of us that served honorably and can’t use these privileges.

    • Christy Fore Johnson March 24, 2022 at 12:17 pm

      Completely agree! I even go a step further saying that ANYONE that served should also leave with their monthly salary. Not every job within the military transitions into a civil job. I feel after going through a living hell trying to help my husband with all the red tape of filing for his disability claims. Not only did his job not transition, It would have been completely helpful for him financially if he still received his monthly salary for his service.

      • marshall March 24, 2022 at 2:21 pm

        Really ??? They should keep receiving there salary because his job doesn’t translate to civilian jobs??? I am sure he had to take a transition assistance program before he got out which would have told him to go medical and make sure all services injuries was recorded so they would been no red tape to go through . TAP is required for all service members being discharged including dishonored vets

    • Teresa T Hooks March 24, 2022 at 12:33 pm

      I agree with you %. My son served in BUSH’S war. Iraq. It’s even hard to see a doctor. Then when he does they aren’t listening or go to the Extreme because he has had cancer. Politicians are treated better than the veterans. This is backwards!! Term limits for politicians then maybe just they’ll care for the veterans and the country.

    • Lester Friedman March 24, 2022 at 4:27 pm

      Agree

  17. Darnell March 24, 2022 at 9:12 am

    I’m a veteran with PTSD I work for the veterans administration I’ve been denied access to the Air Force Base in El Segundo California I’ve been told come back after 10-year period I did that I got denied again so this program is full of it I got my PTSD wows in the service but I’m denied access

    • Michael March 24, 2022 at 9:32 am

      Absolutely!!!!!

      • Margie A C House March 24, 2022 at 11:57 am

        I agree with both Michael and Darnell. Although I wasn’t on the front line, I still served my Country during the Vietnam War Era. Because of the timing, I get no calls, text, etc, on Veterans Day. It’s as if I never served. And yes, I am an Honorably
        Discharged Veteran from both the USAF and United States Navy.

  18. Christopher L Marsh March 24, 2022 at 9:09 am

    Been out since 94. The closest comm I maybe 45 minutes away. That’s a long drive to get denied access yet Veterans shouldn’t have to be treated this way, regardless of branch or service related issues. There’s a Publix a mile from my house. Save time and money and shop local, mom n pop stores too.

  19. Jose L Quiroz March 24, 2022 at 9:06 am

    My wife is my caregiver. Why can’t she be allowed in the commissary? She is an employee of the VA hospital in Houston.

  20. Gary Fessler March 24, 2022 at 8:57 am

    That’s nice, but how about reinstating my FREE Medical and Dental Benefits FOR LIFE for me and my Spouse after serving 25 years on Active duty? When they drafted me in 1966 they PROMISED these benefits to all who honorably served for 20 years or more. BTW the Commissary and Exchange Benefits still can’t beat Walmart and BestBuy prices. Sales Tax deferral is only real benefit otherwise PX / BX is very expensive. Can’t just buy a $12 dollar pair of Jeans but you can buy $125 dollar Jeans ! What a disgrace to the E1 through E7 ranks.

    • razer March 24, 2022 at 12:45 pm

      You should have enrolled in a school for “ten minutes ” got deferment, joined the air guard, get full benefits: px/ bx , stay at “military ” housing while on vacation . the works ! joined the navy, service connected got non of that
      ,

  21. R a y Keltner er March 24, 2022 at 8:01 am

    Why do I need to be disable after 13 months I Korea 67-68 tinnutis so bad can’t stay asleep
    Where is this tiny benefit for servicemen who can still walk, no nada benifit without a copay.

    • Paul Martin March 24, 2022 at 11:58 am

      Ray I was in Hq 7/5 DSP to all 7-5 HAWK MISSILE sites 1968-69. It was simple to get 10% disabled for Tinnitus . But I also have Ischemic heart disease VA PRESUMPTIVE TO ANYONE ON OR NEAR YHE DMZ. Have never gotten that passed by VA. But 10% qualified for this !?

  22. Timothy Smith March 24, 2022 at 8:00 am

    Whelp nobody here complaining about bone spares in their feet TO AVOID a world event .So guess that means they served their country with HONORS . The Commissary means jack to me. Walmart is just down the street.LOWES gives me a 10% discount that takes care of the taxes. To bad its not for all VETS that have served with honors.

  23. Glenn Smith March 24, 2022 at 6:53 am

    It would be nice to have the locations of these commisaries.

    • ROY LORENTZ March 24, 2022 at 7:55 am

      GOOGLE MAPS , THEY ARE ON MOST MILITARY BASES .

    • Ronald Perkins March 24, 2022 at 9:28 am

      Once you know the nearest military base, look it up on this website: “https://www.commissaries.com/shopping/store-locations”

  24. William (Bill) March 23, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    We shouldn’t need to jump through hoops.

  25. Craig A Hakari March 23, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    They should also accept the “Direct Express” Federal backed debit card that they pushed for so long and hard to get you to sign up for. I have had it for over 10 years, and I have had very few problems with it. Most of the problems were ultimately my fault.

  26. Kevin J Pierce March 23, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    When the Government decided to hand the commasary operations to become a civilian entity, any form of being able to get a true benefit for active, retired and Vets went out the window. The commasary is the same as Walmart and they push that shoppers save by not paying taxes, big harry deal! They might as well close up all the state side commasary s and leave the over seas stores open, but even overseas store there is no real benefit same as the on post movie theaters.

  27. Michael Obermeyer March 23, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    I have Fairchild AFB here in Spokane so how do I get on base to use the Commissary.

    • Ellen March 24, 2022 at 1:00 pm

      Show them your disabled military ID card it says on the front if you’re disabled they will let you on the base to once you show him your disabled ID card. I hope this helps?

  28. Alan haraldson March 23, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    I recieved a 10% disability. Where does it show on my va health card?

    • Efraín Méndez March 24, 2022 at 9:21 am

      Your VHIC does not show any percentage but the words “Service Connected” are printed below your photo regardless of your %.

  29. T. Stamets March 23, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    What is the eligibility for my husband and I to use the commissary??

  30. Fred Sparrevohn March 23, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    I have had foot problems ever since I was in Vietnam, and now I have continuous ringing in my ears. I have applied twice for disability and have been turned down boh times. Some time back I applied to be on the agent Orange registry. But when I tried to confirm it around a year or so ago, I was told I wasn’t on it. My job in the AF required me to work right off the end of runways, yet I was never told I needed ear protection. What should I do?

    • Peter McGraw March 24, 2022 at 8:25 am

      If you tried for disability on your own, think about having a service do it for you. I used VA Guardian and my disability increased from 10% to 70%. It took two years but I am happy I went with them, they knew how to process everything much better than I ever could.

    • David C March 24, 2022 at 8:49 am

      If you spent 24 hours, boots on the ground in The Nam you were exposed to Agent Orange. It has been established by VA that any illness or condition related to any illness or condition on the established list of effects caused by AO exposure is presumptive. All you have to do is submit supporting medical documentation of the condition or illness with your compensation request. Follow their guidelines verbatim and don’t give up.

    • William Buford jr. March 24, 2022 at 9:33 am

      I’m getting 100% disability for prostate cancer am I eligible.

      • Rene Zayas March 24, 2022 at 7:50 pm

        How did you get 100% disability for Prostate cancer? The VA denied mine. Camp Lejeune water contamination survivor.

        • James Peterson March 31, 2022 at 1:45 pm

          I was also denied prostate cancer benefits while station at Camp Lejeune . This is so wrong.

      • Defense Commissary Agency April 20, 2022 at 6:51 pm

        First and foremost, sir, I’m sorry to hear about your medical condition and wish you the best success in any treatment you may be pursuing!

        Regarding your question, veterans with a 100% disability rating and veterans with a 100% unemployability rating due to a service-connected condition (and their dependents) are eligible to obtain DoD ID cards and access broader installation privileges than those who are eligible for access solely under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code, described in this post. Therefore, once you have received your 100% service-connected disability rating and received a DoD ID card reflecting that, we encourage you to use your DoD ID card for installation and privilege access.

        If you have been granted this rating already, but have not been issued your new DoD ID card yet, then please contact your local Pass & ID Office to request guidance on local procedures for this. Please be aware that if you choose to use a VHIC in lieu of your DoD ID card when seeking access to an installation or your privileges, your access will be limited to that of the veterans eligible solely under Section 1065. We hope you will be able to obtain your new DoD ID card soon and look forward to serving you!

        Sincerely,

        Courtney Rogers
        Consumer Advocate
        Defense Commissary Agency

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 20, 2022 at 6:58 pm

      Sir, thank you for your service and your interest in the commissary benefit! I am Courtney Rogers, Consumer Advocate for the Defense Commissary Agency. While we cannot speak to specific medical determinations the VA may have made, we do offer a page on our website containing information about this expansion in authorized commissary customers, which you can find at the following link: https://www.commissaries.com/extended-eligibility.

      You can find links and contact information for the proper VA resources to guide you on this under the heading “How to determine eligibility or obtain your Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) if you don’t already have one” on this page. I recommend using that information to reach out to the VA if you have any questions or concerns about what your service-connected disability rating should be.

  31. IRENE V CERVANTEZ March 23, 2022 at 10:08 pm

    I am very happy to see this new law enabling VA veterans with the designated medical qualifications to shop at the commissary. However, I am disappointed that surviving spouses to deceased Veterans who met these established qualifications. Surviving spouses appear to have severely neglected to these new privileges.

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 20, 2022 at 6:56 pm

      Thank you for sharing this feedback, ma’am! If you are a surviving spouse, then first and foremost, we want you to know that we are deeply sorry for your loss. As you mentioned, the commissary shopping privileges described in this blog post do not extend to family members and cannot be transferred to survivors.

      Only the veterans and caregivers eligible solely under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code, will have these privileges, as this eligibility is tied to eligibility for, and enrollment in, specific VA programs. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you.

      Sincerely,

      Courtney Rogers
      Consumer Advocate
      Defense Commissary Agency

  32. Ralph Lewis March 23, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Is there a website to help veterans find the Commissary locations closest to our present location due to traveling ?

    • Ronald Perkins March 24, 2022 at 9:25 am

      Look up the nearest military installation to you on this web site: “https://www.commissaries.com/shopping/store-locations”. Hope this helps.

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 20, 2022 at 6:54 pm

      Yes, sir, there is! You can find the commissary location closest to you by using the store locator feature on our website at the following link: https://www.commissaries.com/shopping/store-locations/find-a-store! Please note that it returns the most accurate results when you search using a full address rather than just a city/state, zip code, etc. If and when you’re able to shop at one of our locations, we look forward to seeing you!

      Respectfully,

      Courtney Rogers
      Consumer Advocate
      Defense Commissary Agency

  33. Barbara Fritx March 23, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Need to obtain New ID. Due to civic was unable to renew. Where do I go to obtain my new ID
    Mesa,AZ 85205

    • JAMES BENTON March 25, 2022 at 11:03 pm

      1962 to 1966 U.S. NAVY. In area’s on base where dumps/land fills and burning pits were operated heavily. Assigned to base security shore patrol.was difficult to even get 2o% non compensateable.no all disability is not anywhere near fair and equal. JGB

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 20, 2022 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you for your service and for reading this blog post, ma’am! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate. If you are a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of less than 100% and you are looking for identification to access the commissary, you can find more information about this on our website here, including links and contact information for the proper VA resources to guide you: https://www.commissaries.com/extended-eligibility.

      Please note that on this page, under “What you need to do before you shop,” we encourage veterans to contact any installation they intend to visit beforehand to inquire about its current access policy. The section above that details how to verify eligibility and apply for a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC), if you don’t have one already, as you will need it to shop.

      If, on the other hand, you need to obtain a new DoD ID card, then I would recommend contacting your local installation’s ID card office to ask whether you currently qualify for this and any requirements they may have. You can find the ID Card Office Locator on the RAPIDS website here: https://idco.dmdc.osd.mil/idco/locator. I did search the city/state and zip code you gave me, but it looks like there are a few offices located about 14 miles away in Phoenix, so I think it’s best that I not single out a specific one, not knowing which might be the most convenient one for you.

      However, based on the location information you provided, it looks like the closest commissary to you may be at Luke AFB, nearly 60 miles away. The other ID card offices may be more convenient if you are going to visit them, but you may want to start out with a call to the Luke AFB ID Card Office first. The RAPIDS website provides the following contact information for that office:

      944th FW Luke AFB
      14708 W SUPER SABRE ST
      LUKE AFB, AZ 85309
      (623) 856-5358

      I hope this helps!

  34. Jerry L. Hill March 23, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    I am 70% disabled and unemployable and being paid at 100% disability. The 188th Air Guard I D office says I am not qualified. They have not been notified about any one getting the commissary ID except you are retired or 100% disabled.

    • Elba Soto March 24, 2022 at 8:06 am

      Your VA ID card should state service connected. That’s all you need to be able to use the commisary and the PX

    • Frederick Hall March 24, 2022 at 8:14 am

      You are being paid at 100% you are qualified go to Ebenefits and print of the commissary privileges letter

    • BARRY T SIMPSON March 24, 2022 at 8:17 am

      Good morning, all you need to do is after your finished shopping at the Commissary the Cash Register attendent will Scan the Bar code on your VHIC Card and you will then proceed to pay for your items. I’m 70% disabled as well. Working on Unemployability.

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 20, 2022 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you for your service and for your interest in shopping at Your Commissary! My name is Courtney Rogers, and as the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, I wanted to address your comments.

      Veterans with a 100% disability rating and veterans with a 100% unemployability rating due to a service-connected condition and their dependents are eligible to obtain DoD ID cards and access broader privileges than those described in the blog post above. If you meet this criteria, please continue to use your DoD ID card indicating this for commissary shopping.

      However, if you do not, then it’s important to ensure that the card you’re using to gain access is a VHIC that lists your status as having a service-connected disability. You can find out more about how to obtain a current VHIC, if you don’t have one already, by visiting the VA’s website at the following link: https://www.va.gov/health-care/get-health-id-card/.

      Also, when I looked up the address for the 188th Wing of the Air National Guard and cross-referenced it with the store locator on our website, it looked like the closest commissary to there was at Little Rock AFB, which appeared to be located almost 2.5 hours away by car. When you do go visit this or another one of our stores, please note that we encourage veterans to contact any installation they intend to visit beforehand to inquire about its current access policy. You can find the store locator feature on our website here: https://www.commissaries.com/shopping/store-locations/find-a-store.

      I hope that this information proves helpful to you and that you will have the opportunity to shop at Your Commissary soon, if you are able to do so!

  35. Marshall March 23, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    Are “NSC” Disability veterans able to use the commissaries?

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 12, 2022 at 4:06 pm

      Thank you for your question, sir! My name is Courtney Rogers, and I’m the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate. I’d like to address your question, and I’m assuming that by “NSC” disability veterans you mean veterans with “non-service-connected” disabilities who were not otherwise authorized commissary privileges prior to this January 2020 expansion of commissary privileges.

      While we are grateful for the service of all honorably-discharged veterans, DoD infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of over 15 million additional veterans to these types of facilities without severely impacting its ability to provide these critical services to active-duty military personnel and their families, which is their primary responsibility.

  36. Luke Brehm March 23, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Why aren’t all veterans or at least Vietnam veterans allowed to use the commissary?

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 12, 2022 at 4:07 pm

      Thank you for your question, sir! My name is Courtney Rogers, and as the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, I’d like to address this.

      It is important to note that this change in law implemented under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code, was done to recognize the service of those who endured captivity during conflict, were wounded in combat or sustained a service-connected disability, as well as the individuals approved and designated as their caregivers under a formalized Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program.

      While we are grateful for the service of all honorably-discharged veterans, DoD infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of over 15 million additional veterans to these types of facilities without severely impacting its ability to provide these critical services to active-duty military personnel and their families, which is their primary responsibility.

  37. William Henry Grupe March 23, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    How do I go about getting a military identification I served in the Coast Guard from 1970 to 1974 . Had to give up my ID when I was discharged.

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 12, 2022 at 3:47 pm

      Thank you for your service and for reading this blog post, sir! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate. If you are a veteran with a service-connected disability and you are looking for identification to access the commissary, you can find more information about this on our website here, including links and contact information for the proper VA resources to guide you: https://www.commissaries.com/extended-eligibility.

      Please note that on this page, under “What you need to do before you shop,” we encourage veterans to contact any installation they intend to visit beforehand to inquire about its current access policy. The section above that details how to verify eligibility and apply for a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC), if you don’t have one already, as you will need it to shop.

      If, on the other hand, you need a general military ID card, then I would recommend contacting your local installation’s ID office to ask whether you currently qualify for this and any requirements they may have. I hope this helps!

  38. Bill Dixon March 23, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    This WAS a great benefit until our local Sheppard AFB won’t let anyone on the base who does not have a military ID. I do have my VA ID card which shows my disability rating. Since the commissary is located on the base being able to shop there is a moot point.

    • Defense Commissary Agency April 13, 2022 at 11:10 am

      Sir, thank you for your service and for reading this blog post! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, and I looked into this for you. First, it’s important to ensure that the card you’re using to gain access that lists your status as having a service-connected disability is a VHIC. If it is not, then you can find out more about how to obtain a VHIC on the VA’s website at the following link: https://www.va.gov/health-care/get-health-id-card/.

      I have good news for you about this! I spoke with the Sheppard AFB Visitor Center, and they assured me that you can access the installation in order to shop there once you’ve gone to their Visitor Center to be registered with that VHIC. After that, they will be able to scan the barcode on your VHIC at the gate to grant you access without you needing to continue stopping at the Visitor Center first.

      They also informed me that if you would like a guest, such as a spouse, to accompany you, they can sponsor this person on your behalf. It is important to note that not all installations have identification credential enrollment capabilities, and not all installations that do share this enrollment information. In fact, the Visitor Center wanted me to let you know that your registration will only be valid at Sheppard AFB; procedures at other installations may vary.

      I did find information on the FAQ on the installation’s “Base Entry and REAL ID Act Information” page that suggested that disabled veterans with VHICs would be granted installation passes only for the duration of any medical appointments they had scheduled, which may have caused confusion about the current policy. However, the Visitor Center confirmed that this is outdated information, as the local VA medical facility there has moved off-base.

      I hope you find this helpful and we look forward to you shopping at your Sheppard AFB Commissary soon! You can find more information about it by visiting its store page on our website here: https://www.commissaries.com/shopping/store-locations/sheppard-afb.

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