News: Commissary on Wheels saves time, money for Hansen-based troops
Story by Gunnery Sgt. Cindy Fisher
OKINAWA, Japan - It is often difficult for junior troops based on Camp Hansen to travel to the commissaries located on southern camps here, so Commissary on Wheels brought the commissary to these Marines and sailors at the Hansen exchange April 30.
Commissary on Wheels is a program coordinated by the Camp Courtney Commissary. Once a quarter, Courtney Commissary employees bring a variety of commissary goods to Camps Hansen and Schwab, said Clyde Cearnal, a work leader with the Courtney Commissary.
The program brings items not readily available in the northern camps’ shopettes or exchanges: hygiene items, a broader selection of drinks and sandwich items, fresh fruits, fresh meats and barbeque items.
“We try to bring the items the junior Marines want like a greater selection of cereals and foods that can be made easily in the barracks,” said Cearnal, 50, from Creedmoor, N.C.
The program, which has been in place for about two-and-a-half years, also accepts requests from Marines who would like to have specific items available for purchase at the quarterly visits, he said.
It improves the quality of life on the northern camps, especially for the junior Marines living on these camps, said Staff Sgt. Paul Works, 26, with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd Marine Logistics Regiment, III Marine Expeditionary Force, from Bremerton, Wash.
Having commissary items available at Hansen periodically saves a lot of time, said Works who lives in barracks on Hansen.
The Courtney Commissary is the closest to the northern camps, about 30 minutes from Hansen and about an hour from Camp Schwab.
“It saves us a lot of travel not having to go down to [Camps] Courtney or Foster, especially for the guys without vehicles,” he said.
Just getting to the Courtney Commissary can be difficult for those without vehicles as the Green Line does not have a route directly from Hansen to Courtney, explained Cearnal.
“I really appreciate it,” said Lance Cpl. Rolando Lindsay, 20, with 7th Communications Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, from Tallahassee, Fla.
“It saves me time. It’s more convenient, and it helps me save money,” Lindsay said.
An added bonus is the variety of fresh fruits is also helping him eat healthier, he said.
The next Commissary on Wheels is scheduled to visit Camp Schwab in June.
For more information on the Commissary on Wheels schedule or to make requests for specific food items, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 622-7590.