Military base access, shopping privileges being opened to millions of veterans

Select veterans will soon be allowed to go to the exchange and commissary, thanks to a new policy that will hopefully bring more customers to the on-base businesses.

Starting January 1 of 2020, all service-connected disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former POWs and primary veteran caregivers will be eligible to shop at commissaries and exchanges, which offer tax-free shopping and some limited availability items.

According to the Military Times, the move to expand clientele is the largest of its kind in six decades, and over six months of cooperation has taken place between the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security.

Security measures such as card readers will be established in order to allow veterans to enter military installations, as only a small number of military exchanges are placed outside of secure areas.

In addition to shopping privileges, the offer will also extend to the use of Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.

While the addition of veterans might rejuvenate what often appears to be a stagnant exchange program, it will come at a slight cost- new customers will pay a fee for using a credit card at commissaries, except for the military resale system’s Military Star card.

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