The military community of Sacramento, California, was faced with less-than-ideal circumstances to begin the holiday season. The McClellan BX, in connection with the now inactive McClellan AFB, is also now closed, and with it goes the discounted goods and services provided to military members and Veterans. Base exchanges (BXs) provide not only great deals but can be a place of community for those that are serving or have served in the Armed Forces. Many Veterans in the community were upset to see this institution falter.
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Is the McClellan BX Open?
No, McClellan BX closed its doors for good on September 26, 2022. This would follow the McClellan Air Force Base closure, but not after more than 21 years of continuing to serve the community.
It was the only BX in the Sacramento area, which is why there is an outrage, but traffic to the store meant it could no longer be sustained. Clearly, there’s also a connection to over two decades of absence from its corresponding AFB, causing less of a demand over time that finally caught up.
“McClellan AFB closed because of Base Realignment and Closure in 2001,” said Chris Ward, a spokesman for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). The Base Realignment and Closure program was used by Congress to cease the use of facilities that were no longer necessary.
“(AAFES) maintained a BX at McClellan Park for more than 20 years. The absence of a military mission, combined with significant decreases in customer demand, requires the closure of the BX,” Ward added.
Outrage Hits the Veteran Community in Sacramento, CA
Maybe it’s the lack of community, perhaps the lack of convenience, but surely, you can’t forget the incredible discounts. The Veterans calling Sactown home aren’t thrilled with the McClellan AAFES BX closure. Now, the closest BXs are located an hour north at Beale AFB or an hour southwest at Travis AFB.
This is the first time an AAFES BX closed since 2019. The McClellan AFB BX had been serving the military community since the mid-80s. It had a great run, even outliving the McClellan Air Force Base for more than two decades after its closure.
The holidays are an especially cruel time to see the BX close. Throw in the fact that military communities, like all of us, are feeling the effects of ongoing inflation, and you have a recipe perfect for leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the nation’s heroes.
As stated by local Army Veteran Joe Margolies, “I’m a military retiree so I’m definitely on a fixed income. This makes it even more important, especially for people counting pennies and couponing.”
Another Veteran, Phillip Roberts of the U.S. Air Force, commented on the closure saying, “It’s slapping the face of every Veteran in Sacramento. At the BX, you’re talking anywhere between 30% to 60% savings.”
Alternatives to McClellan BX
The McClellan Air Force Base BX closure is forcing an unfortunate reality for many who benefited from it: all who were willing to put their lives on the line to keep America free. If you’re affected by the closure, here are some options to help you through:
- www.ShopMyExchange.com provides viable alternatives through the Internet.
- The ID.me Shop provides top brands all available at great discounts to the military community.
- SheerID is another online shop with a portal just for the military community that provides you with a ton of popular items at a great price.
By the looks of things, the McClellan BX had a great run and made a notable impact within the community. Hopefully, Veterans can find these alternatives helpful to push through this upsetting withdrawal.
Suggested read: GovX Provides Deals on 700+ Brands for the Military Community
Image: JAKE ABBOTT | Sacramento Business Journal