POSTED: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 11:08am
UPDATED: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 11:11am
Fort Bliss, TX (KTSM) — Some Fort Bliss civilian workers returned to work Monday. According to Fort Bliss Public Affairs Officer Major Joe Buccino, the Pay our Military Act allowed some furloughed civilian employees to return to work if they contribute to the "morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of the military." It does not include all civilian workers, but does include employees at the Fort Bliss Commissary.
John Manca Sr., who is retired from the U.S. Army, was the first in line at the Commissary Monday morning. He said he missed the big rush before it closed last Wednesday, and was running low on groceries.
"Yesterday I spent about $65 at Albertson's. The same items over here come out to about $50. There's a big savings right here," he said.
He wasn't the only one anticipating the reopen. Dozens of people lined up outside the store entrance waiting for the doors to open.
Daniela Lopez showed up first thing in the morning to stock up on items that she prefers to buy at the Commissary.
"I can get my German food. I can get it only here, and off post if I get it, it's an arm and a leg," she said.
A store employee said there was no produce or dairy products Monday, but they expected to be fully stocked by Tuesday.
While most shoppers were relieved to see the store back open, for others, the better news is that people are back at work serving soldiers and their families.
"I'm just happy that some people are working and it helps soldiers so they don't have to commute off post," said Leota Francisco, whose husband is retired from the U.S. Army.
Still, Manca said he is preparing just in case.
"A lot of us are going to do a lot of bulk, a lot of stuff in bulk, because you never know when they'll close. We are soldiers, we prepare."