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Commissary Ranks Among Servicemembers' Best Benefits

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2005 – Shopping at military commissaries is a prime perk for servicemembers and their families, a senior noncommissioned officer said today at an Defense Commissary Agency-sponsored exhibit at the Pentagon.

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Army Master Sgt. Kevin K. Thibeault writes why he loves the commissary onto a message board set up in a Pentagon hallway May 2. May is Commissary Awareness Month. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore

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Army Master Sgt. Kevin K. Thibeault said the ability to shop at commissaries ranks among "one of the best benefits" of military service.

Thibeault, a native of Beecher Falls, Vt., and father of four children, is preparing to retire after 22 years of service. The NCO plans to continue to shop at commissaries after retirement, he said, because commissaries offer below-market-value prices.

"And they're the only ones who do that," he emphasized.

May is Commissary Awareness Month, said Bonnie J. Powell, a DeCA marketing specialist who greeted Thibeault and other visitors at a table filled with commissary literature set along a Pentagon hallway.

People were invited to write why they love the commissary on a nearby message board. Thibeault wrote: "Thank you for the support. 1 of our best benefits! - MSG T"

Two costumed DeCA mascots, "Private Pickle" and "Kool-Aid Man," Powell said, would be on hand during the day to greet the public. The DeCA promotion team returns to the Pentagon May 16, she said.

Powell pointed out that commissary customers get great value for their money and could expect an average savings on their grocery purchases of 30 percent or more.

Retired Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kathy Taylor, who stopped by Powell's display table, said she appreciates her commissary benefit.

"I think its pretty good, pricewise," Taylor noted, adding, "I do a lot of saving" at the commissary.

The agency is also planning to set up a display on Washington's National Mall this week as part of the military's expansive array of equipment for annual Public Service Recognition Week.

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Defense Commissary Agency

Click photo for screen-resolution imageFrom left, DoD civilian employees B.R. Williams and Kathy Taylor talk to Defense Commissary Agency marketing specialist Bonnie J. Powell May 2 at a Commissary Awareness Month display set up at the Pentagon. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore  
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