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Overseas commissaries to stay open If government shuts down

FORT LEE, Va., Sept. 27, 2013 – Military commissaries overseas would be open in the event of a government shutdown, the director of the Defense Commissary Agency announced today.

DeCA’s announcement means 38 commissaries in Europe, one store in Puerto Rico and 29 stores in the Pacific (including Guam), would remain open during a government shutdown as a safety and security measure to serve U.S. troops and their families stationed overseas.

“We are acutely aware of the hardships placed on all our customers if we cannot deliver their commissary benefit,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO. “However, because of their geographic location, our service members and their families overseas have a more critical dependence on commissaries, and we are prepared to continue that support.”

In the event of a shutdown, stateside commissaries, including Alaska and Hawaii, will be open for a full business day on Oct. 1 to reduce the amount of perishables on-hand before beginning a systematic closure process to account for unsold products and secure facilities.

Jeu recommends that customers stay tuned in to their local news outlets for information about any impact to services on their installations.

During a shutdown, commissary customers should be able to access the DeCA website. However, that site and the agency’s social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and other sites – would not be updated after Oct. 1 until the shutdown is over. Customers should be able to access the Department of Defense website, and its social media platforms for any updated information and breaking news that affects service members and federal government civilian employees.

When the federal government’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1, operations and programs must be funded through appropriations enacted by Congress and signed into law by the president. Without an annual appropriation funding, Congress may pass a continuing resolution to extend government operations for a period of time. As of Friday afternoon, Sept. 27, Congress has not approved a funding extension granting continuing resolution authority. The current authority is set to end midnight Sept. 30.

“We hope that no government shutdown occurs,” Jeu said. “However, whatever happens, we are committed to providing the best commissary benefit possible at DOD’s direction.”

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons save thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to commercial prices when shopping regularly at a commissary. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773

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