Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) and Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ-12) wrote Dr. Clifford Stanley, Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness at the Department of Defense, requesting that he approve Army Secretary John McHugh's request to keep the Fort Monmouth Commissary open for two years beyond the Fort's closure date in September 2011.
"Keeping the Fort Monmouth commissary open will benefit the brave men and women who have committed their lives to military service for our country," the lawmakers wrote.
In August 2010, the lawmakers sent a letter to Army Secretary McHugh requesting the commissary remain open after the Fort closes. In response, Secretary McHugh informed the lawmakers that he had requested the commissary remain open for a transitional two-year period following the closure. This request must be approved by the Department of Defense.
The text of the letter appears below.
April 1, 2011
Dr. Clifford L. Stanley
Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness
United States Department of Defense
The Pentagon, Room 3E764
Washington, DC 20301-1100
Dear Under Secretary Stanley:
We understand the Secretary of the Army recently sent you a request to keep the commissary at Fort Monmouth open for two years past the closure date of the base in September 2011, and write to ask that you respond affirmatively to this request.
The closure of Fort Monmouth will have a significant impact not only on the individuals employed there and the local communities surrounding the property, but on the military retirees and their families who frequently utilize the facilities at the base. The use of military commissaries is an important benefit for military retirees who served our country dutifully. Oftentimes, these individuals are living on fixed incomes and a supermarket with products at cost is a vital resource for them.
In addition, the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) own data show that the demand for the commissary's services and products has only grown over the past several years. Total sales and transactions at the Fort Monmouth commissary have increased from $12.7 million in 2006 to more than $13 million in 2009.
Keeping the Fort Monmouth commissary open will benefit the brave men and women who have committed their lives to military service for our country. We appreciate your attention to this important matter.
FRANK R. LAUTENBERG ROBERT MENENDEZ
United States Senator United States Senator
RUSH HOLT FRANK PALLONE, Jr.
Member of Congress Member of Congress