Charleston Chapter – MOAA Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Member Login    News    Support our Charities    Photos    Event Calendar      
Charleston Chapter – MOAA


Recent News:
(Published in last 30 days)


Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Date Posted:10/11/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/20
WARNING Hackers target job hunting service members, veterans with sham employment website

Date Posted:10/11/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
Million Veterans Program is Now Open for Online Enrollment

Date Posted:10/11/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
George W. Bush’s portraits of veterans make Washington debut

Date Posted:10/09/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
Just What Is Open Season and Why Should You Care?

Date Posted:10/09/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
See the New 2020 Rates for Vision and Retiree Dental InsuranceMilitary dependents and retirees and their families should check out the 2020 Federal Em

Date Posted:10/09/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
Military spouses: Check out these hundreds of thousands of temporary job opportunities nationwide

Date Posted:10/09/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Latest Update Tricare Drug Costs to Increase More Than 40% in 2020

Date Posted:10/05/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
A pharmacy technician counts pills before filling a prescription. (U.S. Air Force/Bobby Jones)

Date Posted:10/05/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Disney Renews Armed Forces Salute for Another Year

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 07/31/20
VA Releases Survivors Quick Start Guide

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Free flu shots for Veterans at your local Walgreens

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Retirees, family members to see increases in dental and vision premiums next year

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Four College Degrees Veterans Need to Consider

Date Posted:09/26/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Millions More Vets and Caregivers Are About to Get Commissary, Exchange Access

Date Posted:09/26/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
New DoD Pain Rating Scale Will Help Military Doctors Assess Patients' Misery

Date Posted:09/26/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Should You Live On or Off Base?

Date Posted:09/26/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Cheap Lodging for Military Families

Date Posted:09/26/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
New eligibility rules for Arlington cemetery would exclude most non combat veterans

Date Posted:09/18/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
All troops will now get free credit monitoring service

Date Posted:09/18/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
This is the Pentagon’s plan for dealing with toxic chemical contamination on bases

Date Posted:09/11/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Tricare Open Enrollment for 2020 Begins Soon

Date Posted:09/09/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
New App from VA Streamlines Veterans’ Resources to Enhance Their Care

Date Posted:09/06/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Lawmakers to VA: Provide Health Care to All Veterans Made Sick by Burn Pits

Date Posted:09/06/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Military folks, here are some expert tips on picking the right charity for your donations

Date Posted:08/29/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Some Children of US Troops Born Overseas Will No Longer Get Automatic American Citizenship

Date Posted:08/29/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Here's Who's Affected by New Citizenship Policy for Children of Troops Serving Overseas

Date Posted:08/28/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Key Pentagon Official Endorses Commissary Exchange Merger

Date Posted:08/28/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Millions of Veterans to Be Memorialized Online in VA Legacy Project

Date Posted:08/28/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
After Mandate from Congress, VA Opens Research Center for Burn Pit Related Illnesses

Date Posted:08/28/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Trump Signs Bill Protecting Disability Payments for Veterans Who Declare Bankruptcy

Date Posted:08/28/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Exchange Extends Online Shopping Pick Up Options

Date Posted:08/28/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
South Carolina State Veteran Benefits

Date Posted:08/28/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA secretary rejects Obama religious expression rules: 'They did not know the makeup of the force'

Date Posted:08/23/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Military Pharmacies May Change List of Free Over the Counter Drugs Offered

Date Posted:08/23/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Pentagon Rolls Out New Spouse Transition Program

Date Posted:08/13/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
New 'Bombshell' Legal Opinion Says Military Retirees Can't Be Court Martialed

Date Posted:08/13/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Terminally Ill Military Kids Can Now Receive Both Treatment and Hospice

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA vision care

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Advocates plead to keep widow’s tax repeal in military policy measure

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Watch: TV News Keeps Fight to End Widows Tax in the Public Eye

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pending law could help vets get treatment at the VA for toxic exposure

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Serving after service: How getting involved helped me overcome my fears and rediscover myself

Date Posted:08/06/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pin Ups For Vets unveils 2020 calendar

Date Posted:08/06/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
The first underwater veterans memorial is open for divers

Date Posted:07/18/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
CHAMPVA Recipients Can Now Get Prescriptions Online from the VA

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA MISSION Act: Answers to the top five questions about urgent care

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pentagon Delays Big Changes to Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer Rules

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
5 Threats to Your Military Transition and How to Reduce Them

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
5 Ways to Break the Ice When Networking

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
What About a Franchise? 4 Veteran Friendly Options

7 Affordable Ideas for Military Care Packages

Date Posted:06/04/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Date Posted:06/03/19
This Story Expires on: 11/16/19
Korean War Vets Eligible for Free Return Tour

Date Posted:03/31/19
This Story Expires on: 10/30/19
A robot reading your resume? 10 tips for vets to beat job screening software

March 22 Luncheon Meeting

Military Star Card Questions & Answers

US Air Force Museum to Mark 75th Anniversary of Japan Raid

Breaking News   
Register for News Story Emails

Here’s how 3 million more people will get military shopping benefits
Posted on: 07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19




 As about 3 million more people will soon be eligible to shop at military stores, officials are working to make sure these new customers will have access to bases, and that the shelves will be stocked.

Starting Jan. 1, all service-connected disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war and primary veteran caregivers will be eligible to shop at commissaries and exchanges, and officials from three federal agencies are preparing the way.

The newly eligible customers will also be able to use certain morale, welfare and recreation activities.

It’s the largest patronage expansion in more than 60 years, said Virginia Penrod, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, who spoke at a recent meeting of the American Logistics Association.

  The departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security have been planning for the expansion for more than six months, with four teams totaling about 70 people. Among other things, they’ve decided how the new customers will get access to military installations and to the stores; assessed the impact on the stores, and have been making plans to ensure enough products get to the shelves in the right assortment.

The fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act expanded the pool of eligible shoppers. Because the expansion also applies to Coast Guard facilities, the Department of Homeland Security has been involved.

The law also included Medal of Honor recipients, but they already had shopping privileges. Previously, veterans with 100 percent service-connected disabilities were able to shop; now all with service-connected disabilities can shop. The benefit extends to MWR programs that are “revenue-generating facilities,” according to the law.

  The expansion is about a 50 percent increase in customers. Currently, about 6 million total households are eligible for the benefit; this adds 3 million, said Justin Hall, director of the DoD office of MWR and Resale Policy. “That’s a huge lift across the entire system.” he said.

  Officials have been mapping out the areas, using VA statistics, where there may be more of an impact on the stores. The impact assessments generally show there will be a low to moderate impact on military stores overall, said Penrod. But she called on representatives of industry for their help to make sure the supply chain “remains responsive to the increased sales volume to ensure no out of stock situations occur” at stores in states with high populations of disabled veterans and in states with higher cost of living.

States with a higher population density of disabled veteras are Florida, Texas and California, said Barry Patrick, in the DoD office of resale policy. High ncost areas were identified as Hawaii; Alaska, California; the Washington metropolitan area; New York; New Jersey and Washington state, he said.

These new shoppers generally don’t have access to military bases. Officials have decided the best form of identification for these groups:

  • Disabled and other eligible veterans: For access into the installation, and for access to the stores, they’ll use the veterans health ID card, Patrick said. Officials are working to enable technology at the front gate to scan those veteran cards, and will start scanning the cards in October, he said. Commissary officials are working on adjusting their technology to enable systems to read the veterans health ID card.
  • Caregivers: The process will be different, initially, Patrick said, since they’re not directly affiliated with DoD or VA other than through their annual appointment to be a caregiver. The benefit applies to the primary caregiver of wounded/injured veterans who are registered in the Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program. Beginning in October, the VA will post a memo to VA.gov for caregivers, to be used for access at the front gate, along with driver’s license or other authorized form of ID. The VA process will later transition to a caregiver-type ID card, which will have scanning swipe capability, he said.

Currently there are about 30,000 VA caregivers who will qualify for this benefit, but over the next several years the number could potentially grow to about 250,000, Patrick noted.

Credit card fee

These new customers will pay a fee for using a credit card at commissaries, except for the military resale system’s Military Star card. The amount of the fee has not yet been determined. By law, this expansion can’t include extra costs associated with using credit cards in commissaries; the cost must be passed on to the customer. Except for the Military Star card, credit card companies charge transaction fees to retailers when customers use their credit cards.

There will be a flag built into the system at commissaries so that when the card is swiped the fee will be charged.

  The fee applies only to new patrons using credit cards in commissaries, not to Medal of Honor recipients or others who were previously authorized to shop. New customers can avoid the fees by paying by cash, check or using the Military Star card. It only applies at the commissary, which is funded primarily by taxpayer dollars.

The DoD resale community has been working together to estimate the number of likely shoppers by location, and the merchandise categories that will interest those shoppers. For example, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service will be adjusting its inventory by location, said Chris Ward, spokesman for AAFES. “Extending the brick-and-mortar military exchange benefit to all disabled veterans is not expected to require material investments in facilities or technology,” he said.

Patrick said officials will launch an information campaign to get out the word about the new benefit to the new customers, but also to installation officials.



Return to News Stories
Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA

· Copyright ©2019 Charleston Chapter – MOAA P.O. Box 70421 Charleston SC 29415 ·
· Contact Charleston Chapter – MOAA · Editorial and Privacy Policy · Webmaster · Browser and Email Settings ·
· Website by VetVentures.org · VetVentures.org Disclaimer ·
V.8