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Disabled Veterans Allowed To Shop On Military Installations

By USVCP Staff Writers
July 22, 2019                    


Thousands of veterans have been waiting for a long time, and many begging for the right to shop on military installations.  Well, the moment is finally here and veterans are thrilled.


Starting January 1, 2020, all service-connected disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war (POW) and primary veteran caregivers will be eligible to shop at commissaries and base exchanges at stateside military installations.












Also, all newly eligible veterans and caregivers will be allowed to use certain morale, welfare and recreation activities.


The new installation access privilege also extends to recreation facilities on military installations. As many service-connected veterans and caregivers already know, MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) facilities offer an array of services such as:

  • Installation libraries
  • Outdoor recreation areas (i.e., installation parks, lakes, memorials, etc.)
  • Installation restaurants (i.e., Burger King, McDonald’s, Popeyes, Charlie’s, etc.)
  • Installation golf courses
  • Installation sports & fitness centers
  • Installation bowling centers
  • Installation arts & crafts centers


Not long ago, only veterans rated at 100% service-connected were approved to shop on military installations; now all veterans with service-connected disabilities can shop on military installations.

The issue now becomes; how does a veteran or caregiver gain access to military installations?












How To Get On Base

Supporting officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) have decided the best, easiest, and most reliable way for service-connected veterans to get on military installations is to use some form of identification showing their service-connected status.  Therefore, service-connected veterans must:

  • Use their Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC).  Access guards at the military gate will scan cards allowing access to the installation.
  • Caregivers will gain access to military installations by showing their driver’s license or other forms of ID which shows their dependent status to the veteran.  The VA is currently working on a caregiver-type ID card, which will have scanning swipe technology.  Also, the VA and DoD may implement a policy of having caregivers submit their name and information to a frequently used or local military installation of their choice so that their name appears on an “caregiver access list.”


Using A Credit Card On The Military Installation Will Cost You

Unfortunately, service-connected veterans or caregivers who use credit cards to make purchases at commissaries will have to pay a fee for using it.  To avoid such “service fees,” service-connected veterans and caregivers may consider using cash or a debit card.

News & Updates

Add Comment

David Rossi, 11/2/19
I'm truly grateful.  Thank you to all who made it possible.


Bradley Kealoha, 8/25/19
I am thankful for this opportunity and for the personnel making this possible, but I have one question the word "state side" is hawaii included?


George Romano, 8/20/19
Thanks for giving disabled vets. Access to the military facilities. Great show of support for veterans.


Kenneth Cotton, 7/26/19

I am thankful for the opportunity to have access to any military installation to shop and use some of the services that exist on the installations Thanks to AFEES and the Veterans Administration for this opportunity to exist for all veterans.












Sam Jones, 7/26/19
Thank you for letting DAV with less than 100% to shop on base.


George Terminesi, 7/26/19
Not thrilled about the credit card policy, but if prices are good this isn't a problem. Also, immediate access would be great.


Joseph Lewis, 7/24/19
I am very pleased that finally we service connect veterans can utilize the array of facilities on military installations. I will cherish this opportunity for the rest of my life. THANKS to all who made this benefit possible.


Thomas Miller, 7/24/19
This is "Great News"...I have 80 percent and still waiting on my IU Claim and my claim of 1 year...will the VA have any VA Personel on Base/Post?


Thomas Talbert, 7/24/19

Of course. The credit card service fee just erased any savings for shopping on base.


Harry Agualo, 7/24/19

IF contractors have CAC with GREEN stripes. Wouldnt it be easier to issue caregivers CAC with PURPLE stripe?


James Holmes, 7/24/19

I see that this is for stateside veterans.Is this also for the veterans overseas?


Ramon L. Reyes, 7/24/19

Thanks to our President Trump. It?s about time that the government and this country give some recognition to the veterans that served to protect this country. We thank the President for all the effort to help the veterans of this country.


Harold Gross, 7/24/19

I am & have been 100% for many years and have I.D. as well, where are these places near me? I live in Florida.