National commander rips commissary proposal

American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger slammed a Department of Defense proposal to shut down all military-run grocery stores in the United States as just "another plan to punish veterans" for Washington’s inability to balance the budget.

"As we count our blessings on Thanksgiving, shouldn’t we remember that it is our veterans and our military that have kept us safe and free?" Dellinger said. "And shouldn’t that gratitude extend everyday and not just on holidays? Many military retirees are on fixed incomes and rely on these commissaries. They devoted a life of service to this nation. Their health insurance premiums are going up and the Pentagon openly considers cuts to pay and benefits for those still serving in harm’s way.

"Is it too much to ask that other areas of the federal government be cut and that the men and women, who have already sacrificed so much for this country, be allowed to keep the benefits that they have earned? They have already paid an enormous price to be eligible for these benefits, far more than what it is costing the treasury. Enough is enough. Veterans benefits are a cost of war and a free society."

Dellinger also pointed out that many military retirees have chosen to live in communities based on their proximity to commissaries and military exchanges. Delegates at The American Legion national convention in 2012 unanimously passed a resolution opposing any efforts "to dismantle or downsize the Defense Commissary Agency."


  1. This issue with base privileges is not an easy issue to please everyone. I feel very strongly that if you served and were discharged with a disability or injury and/or personnel reasons (not being able to support a family, not being able to find a job, having to take a job that keeps you away from home and your military career). I served 3 years RA from 1971 thru 1974, and decided to go back in to the National Guard because I missed the structure of the military. I reached the rank of Captain, a great accomplishment for me and a first in my family lines. I served at the Army's wisdom as to where they would send me as did everyone else. After 14 combined years I had to get out. Looking back at my military experience I remember coming home on leave and being swore at, spit at, and called every name in the book because I was in uniform, and to top it off I was harassed relentlessly where I worked because I was in the NG. So for those of you who stayed in to get your retirement YES you deserve everything you get and more, the same can be said with the combat vets. But I'm not asking for monetary benefits or medical benefits, I know I have not earned them. But what is wrong with getting base privileges? I want to feel like I am appreciated for the time I served and getting base privileges is a small perk. It takes nothing away from you, in fact it may help keep the commissaries in business.
  2. Having served 26+ years, I would do it again. I retired with 100 percent combat related injuries. I now have diagnosed terminal cancer, obtained through agent orange exposure. So now I can say what I want about this sorry government. I don't care if they are Democrats or Republicans, they to a person, don't need to be there. Commissaries are the least of our worries. They are getting ready to down size the whole DOD, except Pentagon Staff personnel. There are more flag officers now than during WWII, go figure..If the president doesn't get his "Yes Man" on the staff he gets rid of them. Go figure!! Brothers, keep up the fight let those loosers know how you feel. God Bless!
  3. Gentlemen and ladies, Retired or one enlistment I think matters not. We all subjected ourself to the possibility of combat death or incapacitating injury. some of us had the latter inflicted on us. No matter our status as retiree,veteran, or whatever We must present a united front against those who would try to strip us of our hard earned benefits in the name of political expediency. if We don't hang together We shall surely hang separately. One of the oldest tactics in politics is to divide the opposition and conquer them separately. Let's remember who we are and what We are and how We arrived at this point in our life.
  4. Question for you SFCSapper. How do you feel about those of us that intended to serve to retirement, but do to injury, and disability are forced out after 7 years. Future plans scuttled through no fault of my own, and yet I keep hearing how I do not deserve base privileges. All of us agreed to, if necessary, lay down our lives for this country. Don't we deserve access as well? Do you mean to suggest that since I became disabled I should be SOL for base privileges? I am proud of the Navy and my time in. Not so proud of some of the people who post negatively against service men and women, despite their length of service.
  5. Not really sure what Sappers comments related to your situation but here's my $.02. Access to PX/Commissary facilities were/are one of the perqs for retirees. That being said, if you have been injured during service and draw even 10%, then I believe you also should have access to those same perqs as retirees. While a retiree may have served his/her 20+ years and may not receive any VA Comp but still earned their privilege of access, I believe those that have been awarded VA Comp should have access to those same facilities. They paid for it in their own way. Yeah, I may be rambling here but you get my point.
  6. How about instead of punishing the lower enlisted E1-E5 just to save the budget we pull out of all these countries like Iraq, Afghanistan Saudi Arabia and other countries that are sucking the budget dry. Another option is lets down grade all the General officer positions one grade. You can't tell me a Colonel can't do the job of a Brigadier General or a one Star can not do the job of a 2 star etc. There should be ONE 4 star general for each branch and one Joint Chief. I retired in 2000 and the military was a good way of life for my family and I. I used to tell young people to join and how great the benefits are but now I tell them to go to college and that the military is a waste of time and it will get them killed for no reason. God Bless the soldiers past and present
  7. klaas 1957 hit the nail on the head-ALL VETS should be on bases and at commissaries.Want to cut something Congress, put an end to Congressmen freeloading rides from the Air Force!
  8. This is pathetic! It is bad enough Washington can’t get their act together to resolve a budget. But now they are also going after the vets along with destroying our military readiness. The GOP and Democrats needs to understand that it cost money to defend this nation along with the maintaining veteran’s benefits; in order to attract new personnel. Most of all the American people need to take serious as to what they do in Washington. Most Americans do not this is a slap in the face to freedom. The military budget is not a zero sum game. Countries such as China and North Korea as well as Iran are testing the waters to see if we are going to blink. This can cause a miscalculation of our resolve because they see weakness within Washington’s resolve of maintaining freedom. Miscalculations could start another world war. The Republican Party cannot use any anti-tax increase pledge if it weakens our military. It is their constitutional duty to maintain our military. Let’s hope they do what they are supposed to do. There grade is an F at doing so at this time.
  9. I have always thought in the other direction...why not open the use of the commissary and exchange to all honorably discharged veterans regardless of time in service. I served my time in the Navy and was promised free medical benefits for the rest of my life. They took my free medical away, so why not give of the use of the commissary. It would be a win win for everyone including the commissary. Sell more, create jobs ect.
  10. Serve at least 20 and you can get commissary benefits for life. These is a difference between a 3 year Vet and a 20 + Vet.
  11. i got shot twice an only did two years what is the difference between me and someone who did not get shot because they sat at a desh for 20 years
  12. I did 2 and through in '67-'69 in the Army. My Dad was a GySgt and served 20 years. Yet he only had to go to VietNam for 2 tours, even though it was as a Combat Engineer. It was my mother who made this 2 combat tours in 20 years observation i.e., 1 year of combat for every 10 AD. Where there alot of warriors of any branch, that went overseas for 'more' than 2 years during their 20 years? And to clarify, more than 2 'lock and loaded'? As for the commissary, other than smokes, where is the discount? 20 years?
  13. I did 2 and through in '67-'69 in the Army. My Dad was a GySgt and served 20 years. Yet he only had to go to VietNam for 2 tours, even though it was as a Combat Engineer. It was my mother who made this 2 combat tours in 20 years observation i.e., 1 year of combat for every 10 AD. Where there alot of warriors of any branch, that went overseas for 'more' than 2 years during their 20 years? And to clarify, more than 2 'lock and loaded'? As for the commissary, other than smokes, where is the discount? 20 years?
  14. Thank You my brother! There should be different benefits for service members that gave the best years of their lives (20+) to the military instead of those that did one or two and out. There is a difference and everyone knows it. While the guy who did one and got out and went to work building seniority in the private sector the military retiree stayed in and at age 38+ had to start a new career. The civilian sector can care less what you did in the military or the projects you planned and supervised without a diploma. They will promote that vet with one tour over you because he has seniority not because he is more qualified. The civilian sector managers are scared or military retirees because they know we can do their job better, manage and motivate their workers better and know how to do more with less. Keep the non-retirees out of my PX
  15. did you get shot an lose part of your body like i did your all for you an no one but you
  16. Just another ploy by this administration to blame someone else for its shortcomings. The inability to balance a budget by making cuts where they should be made. Not by cutting more and more of the benefits that vets earned.
  17. I think it is despicable that this administration would even consider closing domestic commissaries.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.