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New Department of Defense Policy

A change in Department of Defense policy went into effect Jan. 1, 2020, allowing Veterans who meet certain qualifications and their caregivers increased benefits on base. (Courtesy graphic)

A change in Department of Defense policy went into effect Jan. 1, 2020, allowing Veterans who meet certain qualifications and their caregivers increased benefits on base. (Courtesy graphic)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

A change in Department of Defense policy went into effect Jan. 1, 2020 allowing Veterans who meet certain qualifications and their caregivers increased benefits on base.

Starting the beginning of the new year, former prisoners of war, veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart, received a Medal of Honor, or have service-connected disabilities now have retail privileges at the commissary and base exchange, as well as moral, welfare, and recreation (MWR) facilities.

This change in policy allows over 4.1 million new benefactors and their caregivers to have access to the listed base facilities.

“Before January 1, 2020, the only eligible veterans were those with 100% service-connected disabilities,” said Staff Sgt. Autumn Dietrich, 325th Security Forces Squadron pass and registration noncommissioned officer in charge. “With the updated qualifications in the new policy, it broadens the number of veterans who have installation access”.

Expanding who has access to exchange and MWR retail activities will enhance local quality of life programs and allows reinvestment back into military communities. Qualifying Veterans are deserving of these privileges and benefits because of their service-related sacrifices, according to the DoD.

“I have several family members that are Veterans and now they’re able to go in person and visit installations and receive those benefits that they earned from the service they gave to their country,” Dietrich added.

Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.VA.gov for questions about eligibility.