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Q&A: Can I use the MacDill commissary?

Rules for MacDill commissary?

I understand there is a commissary at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. What are the rules for using this commissary? I am a U.S. Navy veteran who served in World War II and am now living in Tampa.

There is, indeed, a commissary at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. It's located at 2908 N Boundary Blvd., and the phone number is (813) 828-3361.

Among the store services are an ATM, bakery, deli, fresh sandwiches to go, party cakes, plants, rotisserie chicken, sushi and more.

Normal store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. "Early bird" hours for people with fewer than 40 items to check out are from 6 to 8:30 a.m., Mondays through Fridays.

MacDill's is one of the largest commissaries in the military with 28 checkout lanes. Store sales are the second highest of any Air Force commissary, according to base officials.

According to NavyTimes.com, general rules for commissary use are:

"Regardless of rank, all military personnel and their families are permitted to shop at a commissary. Retired military, disabled veterans, National Guard and reservists are also eligible. The military also permits surviving spouses and former spouses of military personnel to use a commissary. Special assistance is offered for those with disabilities or infirmities. Individuals caring for children of service members who are deployed, on remote assignment or deceased may be authorized to use the commissary for 12 months, sometimes longer in cases of continued hardship.

"Commissaries accept cash, personal checks, travelers checks and debit and credit cards. Food stamps and WIC vouchers are accepted in the United States, including Puerto Rico and Guam. Commissaries overseas accept the overseas military-issued WIC vouchers for military families.

"Federal law restricts what commissaries can sell. For example, they do not stock beer, wine and many general merchandise items carried by base exchanges.

"Shoppers get average savings of 30 percent or more. There is no sales tax. The 5 percent surcharge pays for construction and renovation of stores and equipment purchases."

For more, see commissaries.com.

Question of Olympic proportion

How big is an Olympic-size swimming pool, and how much water does it hold?

Olympic-size swimming pools are built to standards set by FINA, the governing body for swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open-water swimming. They are 50 meters (164 feet) long and 25 meters (82 feet) wide. The minimum depth is 2 meters (6 feet, 7 inches) but many are deeper at one end and shallower at the other.

They hold about 600,000 gallons of water, depending on the depth, or enough to fill about 12,000 standard-size bathtubs.

Q&A: Can I use the MacDill commissary? 07/28/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:46am]

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