"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To Do Without - Closing our Commissaries

(Photo courtesy of google images)

Nothing about this will be "popular opinion". 
In fact, this time last year I would have been on the "popular opinion" side of things. Not so much today. Maybe because my family (personally) as a military family is in a different place than it was a year ago. We as a military community are in a different place than we were a year ago. Our force is changing. Our Army, our Navy, our Marines, and our Air Force must maintain their readiness without near the same funding. The challenge to work through is immense. It isn't fair. It isn't right but it is reality. 

Soldiers are going to be involuntarily separated from the Army. Soldiers and their loved ones who have served faithfully and well are being told this nation is no longer able to afford them. 

We. Are. Still. At. War. 
The Middle East is still the Middle East. China thinks it's a game to claim airspace that isn't theirs. We need our troops. We need them trained. We need them ready. We need the world to have no reason to question our strength. If there is only so much money, it needs to go to them. 

If closing our commissaries allows $1.4 billion less to be taken directly from our readiness, our national security, our ability to protect our nation and our allies ... close them. Put in exceptions for OCONUS and for isolated posts/bases, and close the rest. I can shop off-post. I can shop at Walmart, or coupon, and cook smarter. I don't think it is a sacrifice. I don't think this nation is asking me to suffer some grave injustice. At the very most, it is asking me to be inconvenienced. 

I can be inconvenienced if the soldiers I know to serve honorably, for the right reasons, with selfless hearts are better protected, better trained, and more likely to come home alive because of it. 

I listened to the news today when the anchor said that military families will be "up in arms" to their congressmen and senators over the Pentagon's proposal. I have no doubt that some will. 

I won't. 

Our military is changing. Some of it I understand, some of it makes me angry, some of it makes me incredibly sad.  I will never, never say that we are lavishly bathed in benefits that give us luxurious lives as some press choose to explain it. I think we sacrifice more than most. I think we feel a pain and a longing that most people cannot understand. I think we live a life that demands strength and resilience and gratitude. But I also think that the majority of us have hearts that bleed for not only this nation, but for the defenders of it. Most of us would give the shirt off our back and the food from our cupboards if it somehow made one soldier safer. 

This isn't the future ahead of us. This isn't something that may be asked of us someday soon. This is happening now. Our military is changing - actively changing. We have to decide what we can do without so that those who will give up to their lives do not have to. 


  1. Except for those of us stationed in AK....where prices would put young enlisted families hungry. Sure, I can shop off post. Many of my husband's soldier under his command will be forced to choose...food or clothes! I have known many single income young enlisted forced to use food stamps even at the commissary!

    1. I absolutely believe that the OCONUS locations (which includes Hawaii and Alaska) should be exempt along with isolated bases/posts (i.e. Fort Irwin).

    2. You are right, but during the recent government shutdown our comm was also shut down. Sad but true. Scary...

  2. I think our congressmen and those running the commissary program need to look at ways to make the commissaries self reliant and not need tax payer money. Could they turn them over to AAFES/NEX and let them control that aspect for their respective bases? Or increase the surcharge to pay for employee salaries and other bills? Also could they lower the cost to the taxpayers by closing commissaries in places where there are more than one, an example would be Fort Hood where there are 2 on post. I hope that if they do close the commissaries that they don't include Alaska and Hawaii. Being stationed in Hawaii and having gone through the shutdown, I can honestly say I think they would need to increase our COLA more for us to be able to make ends meet. I've tried to buy my groceries off post, but looking at prices I always come straight back to the commissary.


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