All service-connected disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war and primary veteran caregivers will be granted shopping privileges at commissaries and exchanges beginning Jan. 1, the Defense Commissary Agency said in recent statements.
The expansion of eligible patrons is a result of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
According to the law, the new shoppers who use a debit or credit card at the commissaries must pay a fee, as the stores — which receive funding via the Department of Defense — are not allowed to cover convenience fees reserved for active duty Soldiers, their families, retirees and dependents.
FMWR retail facilities will also be accessible to those mentioned, DeCA confirmed.
The agency said that while details regarding identification requirements for both veterans and caregivers are being finalized by the Military Community and Family Policy Office, it anticipates veterans will use a Veteran Health Identification Card, while caregivers will use a letter.
For more information on obtaining a VHIC, visit https://www.va.gov/records/get-veteran-id-cards/.