It’s been in the works for years, but a new military commissary in Moon is becoming a reality. Members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation gathered at the future site this morning for the official groundbreaking.
“This has been long in the making and I’m tickled that we’re finally able to be here for the second best day for this facility, because the best day will be in or about November of next year when we do the ribbon cutting and move in,” said Major General William D. Razz Waff, commanding general, 99th Regional Support Command.
In 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) slated the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility in Oakdale for closure. That meant that all current and former service members lost access to the commissary, Post Exchange, and military clothing store. Since that time, lawmakers and others have been working to get another commissary open, because military personnel and veterans had come to rely on the facility.
Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA 18) said service members and their families already make huge sacrifices and added that putting food on the table shouldn’t be one of them, “nearly $88 million in food stamps were redeemed at commissaries last year. Disabled veterans and retirees, unemployed veterans, rely on these affordable groceries to make ends meet. Some military households are getting by on $27,000 a year and that 30% savings on groceries could be $183 to $300 a month, that goes a long way towards keeping children and families fed.”
Murphy was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by fellow Congressmen Mike Doyle (D-PA 14), Jason Altmire (D-PA 4), Mark Critz (D-PA 12), plus Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
The new facility will be adjacent to the 316th US Army Reserve in Moon Township and is expected to serve some 168,000 eligible military personnel, veterans and their families.