Shopping’s back at Keesler exchange, commissary

Thousands attend opening events



It was Black Friday in April as the combined Base Exchange and Commissary opened Tuesday at Keesler Air Force Base.

Gen. Ian Dickinson said he’s attended several openings in the 10 months he’s commanded the 81st Training Wing and, “this is one of those most special days.”

Congress voted to appropriate the $40 million for the BX and commissary in March 2006, when 42,000 people in South Mississippi were still living in FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina, recalled U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor. The reason there are commissaries is to attract new recruits and reward those who served, Taylor said.

“This is a part of their compensation,” he said.

Dickinson also dedicated the eagle in front to the building. It was carved by Marlin Miller of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., who did most of the tree carvings along U.S. 90 and who was once stationed at Keesler.

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