Military News

DoD will soon open online military exchanges to veterans

People gather in front of the brand-new Commissary for the 2010 grand opening at Keesler Air Force Base. The BX and Commissary provide everything from fresh produce and Starbucks Coffee to haircuts and uniforms.
People gather in front of the brand-new Commissary for the 2010 grand opening at Keesler Air Force Base. The BX and Commissary provide everything from fresh produce and Starbucks Coffee to haircuts and uniforms. amccoy@sunherald.com File

Honorably discharged military veterans will soon be able to make purchases from online military exchanges, under a recently announced Department of Defense policy change.

The new benefit will begin Nov. 11 — Veterans Day.

Veterans will not be able to buy uniforms, alcohol or tobacco products. But the rest of the Exchange Services’ inventory, including everything from appliances to jewelry to clothing, will be available.

Brick-and-mortar military exchanges on bases or posts are already open to many veterans who live near them, as well as their dependents and surviving spouses, including some of the estimated 40,000 veterans in South Mississippi. But the new policy will benefit those who don’t live near a base or who may not have the means to get to the base store.

In a press release, DoD officials said the move was a way to improve quality of life for veterans and their families, as well as strengthen the exchanges through the DoD’s increased online presence, competitive prices and selections, and bargaining power with vendors when millions of additional customers are added.

“As a nation, we are grateful for the contributions of our service members. Offering this lifetime online benefit is one small, tangible way the nation can say ‘Thank you’ to those who served with honor,” said Peter Levine, who is performing duties for the under-secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

Regina Zilbermints: 228-896-2340, @RZilbermints

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