Military cuts may close commissaries

Updated: 12/19/2013 8:36 AM | Created: 12/17/2013 12:45 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra and Elizabeth Reed, KOB Eyewitness News 4

As the U.S. Department of Defense plans to make cuts to their 2015 budget, the future of commissaries could be at risk.

The department has reportedly asked for a plan to close commissaries across the country, but the move would impact almost a million New Mexicans who depend on the low grocery prices.

Just last year at Cannon Air Force Base, more than 200,000 transactions were made at the commissary while there were nearly 300,000 transactions at the one at Holloman. The numbers ring true at Kirtland and White Sands: almost 530,000 and 100,000 transactions at the commissaries, respectively. 

Col. Steve Warren, a senior spokesman for the Department of Defense, tells KOB that commissaries have not closed and none are about to close, but said all military programs are under review.

"As the Department of Defense faces an increasingly constrained budget environment, we are reviewing all programs to identify cost-cutting and money saving opportunities. We have a process in place to finalize and announce budget decisions, and right now, we are assessing all options. No decisions have been made," Col. Warren said in a statement.

Some veterans and military families sounding off on the KOB Facebook page want to see cuts from other areas. They say the commissaries are too valuable of a resource.

"The cuts should come from Congress," Hashke Kieyoomia wrote. "I spent 12 years in the military. While deployed 9 times and training, my family had to go on food stamps and the commissaries helped so much."

However, some viewers also wrote that out of everything that could be cut, the commissary should be an option.

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