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FSS reminds base populace about Vandenberg Commissary policy

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Army Sgt. Keith Cinotto, makes a purchase at the Commissary here Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. The Defense Commissary Agency is only open for shopping and purchasing for select beneficiaries. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jerry E. Clemens, Jr.)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Army Sgt. Keith Cinotto, makes a purchase at the Commissary here Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. The Defense Commissary Agency is only open for shopping and purchasing for select beneficiaries. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jerry E. Clemens, Jr.)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- With the holidays quickly approaching, the 30th Force Support Squadron reminds the base populace about those people who are entitled to shop at the Commissary.

"Lately, there have been a number of Department of Defense civilians on base who have gone to the commissary to shop," said Capt. Renata Mills, from the 30th FSS. "Once they get to the register with their groceries and are asked to show their identification, they find out they are unauthorized to shop at the Commissary. Scenarios like this cause a problem at Vandenberg's Commissary because the unauthorized DOD civilians have a cart full of groceries at the register that have to go back."

These types of situations also put the Commissary's cashiers in an uncomfortable position.

"Some of our cashiers have been almost been in tears over angry-shopper comments after having been turned away at the register for not having the appropriate identification," said Thomas Testerman, the Vandenberg Commissary director.

To help prevent similar circumstances, the 30th FSS reminds people about the Vandenberg Commissary policy regarding shopper eligibility.  

Only the following individuals are authorized to shop at the Vandenberg Commissary:

- Members of the uniformed services, members of the Reserve components, cadets and midshipmen of the armed services academies

- Retired personnel

- Medal of Honor recipients

- 100 percent disabled veterans (honorably discharged veterans of the uniformed services classified by the Department of Veterans Affairs as having a 100 percent service-connected disability)

- Authorized family members (an individual whose relationship to the sponsor leads to entitlement, benefits, or privileges administered by the Uniformed Services; family members as defined herein include: abused dependent or former dependent; dependent children 21 or older; dependent children under 21; former dependents; lawful spouse; orphans; parents; surviving family member; surviving spouse; un-remarried former spouse; and surviving spouses and dependents of honorably discharged veterans who are posthumously determined to have possessed service-connected disabilities rated as 100 percent)

- Commissary employees in the United States have limited authority to purchase products; they are authorized to purchase products in the commissary they work for personal consumption during meals and breaks only

For more information about who is authorized to shop at the Vandenberg Commissary, call 734-3354 or check with a cashier before beginning to shop at the Commissary.

"We are here as a benefit to the military personnel and their families," Testerman said. "We will do everything in our power to take care of our military population."