WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Military Society (AMS) has joined The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits to help protect commissary and exchange benefits. The Coalition now represents nearly 2 million service members, veterans, and their families.
Military families have become increasingly concerned by ongoing attacks to their hard earned pay and compensation benefits. Cuts to retirement cost of living adjustments blind-sided the military community, prompting them to fight this broken promise while still reeling from the news the Pentagon is considering a proposal to close all commissaries in the United States. Although no final decisions have been made, the official word from the Department of Defense is that “all cost-cutting efforts need to be on the table.”
“We realize these are tough economic times, and that sequestration and shrinking budgets are forcing the Pentagon to make some drastic decisions, but closing commissaries would be a terrible betrayal and another broken promise to our military community,” said Candace Wheeler, spokesperson for The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits. “Commissaries are a vital part of military pay and compensation and one of military families’ most valued earned benefits,” she added.
“AMS is proud to join with other military and veterans service organizations in supporting The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits,” said John P. May, AMS Executive Director. “Commissaries and base exchanges are vital to the morale and welfare of members of the military and their families. They are an important part of the military pay and benefits package, and they significantly improve our military families’ quality of life,” stated May.
“These benefits are even more important today in our current economy. We hope Congress recognizes the importance of these benefits and continues to support their mission,” added May.
Commissaries and exchanges are part of the solution to our Nation’s budget challenges, not part of the problem – providing a great return to the Department of Defense on every dollar that is spent to provide this benefit. Commissaries and exchanges also support several key White House initiatives – hiring veterans and military spouses, and promoting healthy lifestyles.
President Obama recognizes how important commissaries are to military life and believes closure of these stores: “is not how a great nation should be treating its military and military families.”
“The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits couldn’t agree more,” said Wheeler. “We will continue to fight for our military families and veterans’ earned benefits and welcome the support of the American Military Society,” stated Wheeler.
The American Military Society (AMS), founded in 1982, is a national military and veterans association that promotes the welfare of the men and women who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces of the United States. It educates the public and members of Congress about the uniformed services and gives voice to members’ concerns about military pay, health care, pension and disability, survivor benefits, education, housing, childcare, and other quality-of-life programs. AMS represents members’ interests at both the federal and state levels.
The Coalition to Save our Military Shopping Benefits is working to ensure military families, veterans, employees, and concerned citizens have a voice in shaping polices that impact our nation’s ability to keep a healthy and vibrant military resale system. Individuals and organizations should join Save Our Benefit to help protect these critical earned benefits.