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Can Veterans Shop at the Commissary?

Can veterans shop at the commissary?

Dear Q&B,

I'm a veteran and want to shop at the commissary. What do I need?

Honorable Discharge

Dear Honorable,

Sadly, for veterans to shop at the commissary, they have to be more than "just" veterans.

Unfortunately, the commissary benefit is very similar to a lot of other military benefits, including exchange privileges. Only active-duty service members, Guard and reservists, medical retirees, retirees, Gold Star widows, veterans 100 percent disabled due to service, Medal of Honor recipients and all of their respective dependents are granted commissary access.

Everyone else? Not allowed.

Commissary 101: How to Shop at the Commissary

But what happens if you are ruled 100 percent disabled due to military service by the Veterans Affairs administration (VA) long after you've left the military? You don't have an ID that says you can use the commissary. So how do you gain access?

Easy: When you are ruled 100 percent disabled due to military service, the VA sends you a letter certifying your status. All you have to do is take that letter to a military pass and ID office and you'll be issued an ID card that grants you commissary privileges. You can use this site to help you make an appointment at your nearest ID card office.

Team Q&B

-- Do you have a question about your benefits? Email the Questions and Benefits team at

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