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4.1 million newly qualifying customers will be able to visit commissaries, exchanges, and recreation centers on military bases thanks to a new law included in the 2019 Defense Appropriations bill. 

The new law, called the “Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act,” allows veterans registered with the VA who have service-related disabilities, Purple Heart recipients, former POW’s, and all of their caregivers to shop at base exchanges, commissaries, and at Morale, Welfare, and Recreation facilities such as golf courses, bowling alleys, movie theatres, clubs, and restaurants. Gyms and childcare centers are not included in the act. 

Qualifying individuals looking to access these facilities will need to show their Veteran Health Identification Card complete with their branch of service logo and whether they are “Purple Heart,” “Former POW” or “Service Connected,” and undergo a background check by visiting the base’s control center. 

“The whole store went to training,” Rubin Barcelona, store director for the Naval Base San Diego Commissary said to Task and Purpose.

 “A lot of people have been calling and asking — I’m pretty sure it’s going to be busy the first couple weeks. If you haven’t been here lately, you’ll be amazed at how the store operates.”


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