Shoppers pour into new Keesler BX complex - - The News for South Mississippi

Shoppers pour into new Keesler BX complex


By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Tara Dore' and her children were some of the first in the new commissary at Keesler Air Force Base Tuesday.  While the kids were entertained by a magician, hundreds of other shoppers combed in aisles, looking for good buys.  It was a new experience for Tara.

"We've been shopping in the small commissary and it's so completely like a whole other world, you can fit 25 of those in here," Dore' said with a laugh.

Jerry Stevison served in the military and is now retired. He said this is a major step forward for the base in recovering from Katrina. 

"I think it's unbelievable that we have recovered so fast.  It's been only five years and we've got this, it's great."  

There were a variety of emotions on display as the new commissary and BX opened up.

"I got really excited that I almost cried," Mariko Smith said.

On the BX side of the complex, Master Sgt. Troy Thomas was looking for some luggage, and found what he wanted, at the right price. He loves the new shopping experience.  

"It's a big difference between what they had before in the warehouse, so it's really nice," Thomas said. 

The store even had star power, with former Saints quarterback Archie Manning stopping by to take a look.  Like everyone else inside the complex, he was impressed.

"Just a beautiful facility," Manning said. "I'm a Mississippi boy and I have lived in New Orleans for 40 years, but I have a lot of friends on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, been to Keesler before and I feel part of it."  

The commissary and BX will be open from nine in the morning until seven at night, seven days a week, with the exception of holidays.  Store officials say most people can expect to save about 30 percent every time they enter the stores.

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