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Pentagon asks for plan to cut all U.S. commissaries
The Pentagon says it's too early to comment on reports plans are being developed to shut down commissaries at military bases in the U.S.
A source told the Military Times that Defense Department authorities brought up the idea at a recent meeting as a way to deal with ongoing federal budget cuts.
Right now, it's just a proposal. There are no immediate plans to cut commissaries like the one at Corry Station. Still, the idea has a lot of people worried.
"That's shocking to me," said a sailor and father of three who chose to remain anonymous, "My wife does a lot of shopping at the commissary."
He says the savings on food his family gets at the commissary have a big impact on their quality of life.
"You can't beat the prices you get for the meats and stuff like that," the sailor said, "You save a lot. You get a lot more for your money."
Reports say the Pentagon has asked the agency that runs the stores for a plan to close all commissaries in the U.S., a move that could free up $800 to $900 million a year. The plan may be included in the defense budget request for fiscal 2015, which is still in the works.
"With all the cuts that they're making, it just, it makes me really upset," said Heidi Zimmerman, the wife of a sailor and the mother of two young children. She's not happy about the possibility of commissaries closing or about any other possible cuts military families are facing.
The Pentagon has said all cost reduction efforts need to be on the table.
"Our military should be the utmost priority and their families," Zimmerman said, "Not other people."
To become a reality, a plan to cut commissaries would still have to get through the president, who spoke out against the idea in August. It would also need approval from Congress, where it's likely to face stiff opposition from several lawmakers.