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Budget proposal could close commissaries on military bases

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Shoppers walk down an isle at one of two commissaries on Fort Bragg. Shoppers walk down an isle at one of two commissaries on Fort Bragg.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -

A Department of Defense budget proposal would close all stateside commissaries as a way to save money.

The federal government spends more than a billion dollars a year to operate military commissaries in America and overseas. The savings generated by closing the 178 commissaries in the U.S. would come mostly from eliminating the workforce, which is about 30 military spouses, according to some estimates.

Roscoe Killett does not like the idea of closing the stores. He has been a veteran for decades, and he still shops a Fort Bragg's commissaries.

"I think that would be a big big mistake by the Department of Defense or the Department of the Army to do anything like that especially to the guys that fought for these type benefits," Killett said.

The stores provide groceries to active duty and veteran military families at a price that is about 30 percent cheaper than regular stores, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. That makes the ability to shop at commissaries one of the most valued military benefits.

"They will drive an hour to go to the commissary to stock up on all their staples that they us for a month at a time because there's such a cost savings on limited budgets," said military spouse Kristy Butcher.

The proposal would not affect overseas commissaries.

If it passes the Department of Defense budget for 2015, it would still need congressional approval.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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