WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senate President Pro Tempore, and Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, spoke of the importance of continued and sustained funding for the military resale system during the recent 2012 Annual Hawaii Conference of the American Logistics Association (ALA) that included representatives from military exchanges and the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). He led a chorus of Hawaii legislators in voicing support for commissary and exchange benefits.
“Shopping at a commissary or exchange is a small benefit military families enjoy. And, this directly impacts recruitment and retention,” said Senator Inouye. “For this reason, I was compelled to communicate directly with the Defense Secretary on the importance of modernizing and providing sustaining funds for our commissaries.”
Senator Inouye discussed the value of the military resale system to Hawaiian businesses and most importantly to America’s armed forces and their families – who ultimately benefit from shopping at a commissary or exchange. He also emphasized the importance of ongoing support and funding for the military resale system.
Senator Daniel Akaka, senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee addressed the gathering saying, “We can be certain the Defense Budget will be smaller in the coming year and that the Hawaii delegation understands the importance of the commissary benefit to our service members and retirees. We must protect this benefit,” Akaka added.
Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, who is running for Akaka's seat, also voiced support for commissaries and exchanges, calling them vital to supporting quality of life for military personnel. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, a key member for the House Armed Services Committee, cited the contributions that exchanges and commissaries make to the military and pledged strong support.
There are 167,000 military, families and veterans on Hawaii, all of whom can find savings in military commissaries and exchanges that is 50 percent less than local prices.
Nationally, the military resale system contributes about $5.6 billion in savings for military families annually and has created more than 100,000 jobs over the past ten years. Commissaries and exchanges have also contributed $10 billion over the past two decades to support vital on base services such as libraries, child care, youth centers and a variety of other programs for military families.
In recognizing Hawaii’s Senior Senator, Patrick Nixon, president of the American Logistics Association and the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits, said, “Senators Inouye, Akaka, and Congresswomen Hirono and Hanabusa truly understand how essential military shopping benefits are to America’s armed forces and their families. We are very thankful to them for supporting the preservation of the military resale system, which is so critical to the overall quality of life of military personnel and their families – creating valuable jobs and savings and supporting on-base programming.”
“We estimate that for every dollar invested (in military resale), the Nation gets five dollars back,” said Stephen Rossetti, director of Government Affairs for the ALA as he previewed a report due next month from the ALA and the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits that makes plain the sound economics behind the military resale system.
The Annual Hawaii Conference for ALA and DeCA was held on August 21-23.
About the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits:
Save Our Benefit advocates for the protection of the military resale system, which saves military families millions each year with its shopping benefits and it provides billions of dollars in on-base aid. These benefits are being threatened by efforts to balance the budget, the Deficit Reduction Panel, looming sequestration, and various individual and committee measures taking place in Congress.
For more information, please visit www.SaveOurBenefit.org.