Rule changes, more veterans can now shop on Fort Drum

Rule changes, more veterans can now shop on Fort Drum
Officials say they'll follow federal law, which allows individuals 18 and older to purchase tobacco products (Source: wwny)

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - More veterans can now shop on Fort Drum, because of a change in federal rules.

As of January 1, veterans who are Purple Heart recipients, Medal of Honor recipients, former prisoners of war or who have service-connected disabilities can shop at the Main Post Exchange or any of of the other Exchange shops on post.

That’s according to a press release from Fort Drum.

Veterans also have access to the Commissary, the Pine Plains Bowling Center, Outdoor Recreation and the Auto Skills Center.

Also included in the group of eligible veterans: primary caregivers for veterans enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

What changed?

Before January 1, eligibility was limited to retirees and veterans who are 100 percent disabled. Congress expanded who can use the post Exchanges and other services when it passed the National Defense Authorization Act in December.

One thing to note: even if you’re one of the new category of eligible veterans, you still have to stop at the Visitor Control Center for background screening. Primary caregivers must bring the primary caregiver letter issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For questions about eligibility, see www.va.gov/healthbenefits.vhic.

Also, even if you’re cleared on a background check and get a pass that’s good for up to a year, if you have passengers in your vehicle you still need to go to the Visitor Control Center so the passengers can be screened.

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