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Mobile commissary stops at Niagara

Airmen of the 107th Air Refueling Wing shop at the commissary that was brought to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on March 8 and 9 by the Defense Commissary Agency.

Airmen of the 107th Air Refueling Wing shop at the commissary that was brought to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on March 8 and 9 by the Defense Commissary Agency.

NIAGARA FALLS ARS, N.Y. -- NIAGARA FALLS ARS, N.Y. -- A winter storm brought less than desirable weather to Niagara Falls on March 8, but that didn't stop the Defense Commissary Agency from bringing a commissary to members of the 107th Air Refueling Wing. 

Inside building 902 at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, the high-bay was stocked with perishable and non-perishable food items, toiletries, coupons, free samples and roaming shopping carts. Outside, snow piled and wind blew while employees and volunteers continuously unloaded trucks with goods and helped customers load their cars with groceries. 

DeCA brings "mobile" commissaries to guardsmen and reservists to better match the benefits of their active duty counterparts. Guardsmen have the same commissary privileges as active duty members, but many guardsmen don't use these benefits because many don't live near a commissary. 

The "mobile" commissary that came to Niagara was open to all military identification cardholders, and stayed open for most of the 107th's drill weekend. 

Senior Master Sgt. Gene Spino, 107th ARW, Maintenance Squadron, said he helped clear the high-bay out for the commissary and also shopped there. 

"It was a good deal," said Spino, if there was a commissary here, members would use it." 

Master Sgt. Joel Micoli, 107th ARW guardsman and fulltime military technician, said his wife made two trips to the commissary sale and spent over $150. 

"My wife liked it, she's excited for the next one," said Micoli. 

Smith said DeCA will present a brief to congressional members in Washington D.C. about the benefits of bringing commissaries to guardsmen and reservists in the near future. 

Smith said this was the second time DeCA brought the commissary to Niagara, and they plan to return to the base in the summer of 2008.