A proposal to close the military store at the Fort Des Moines Reserve complex on the south side of the capital city is raising concerns. Bob Krause, the state president of the Reserve Officers Association, says they’ve been informed that the Fort Des Moines “Post Exchange” or P-X is scheduled to close in about one month. He says while the Third Corps Support Command — the major unit stationed at Fort Des Moines — were in Iraq, sales were not surprisingly down. He says now the higher headquarters for the P-X wants to close it. He says it’s a disappointment for the troops who won’t have a convenient place to go pick things up. Krause says the store is managed out of Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, and they’re defending the closing based on lagging sales. He says they’re what’s called a non-appropriated fund account, which means they have to make their own money, and don’t get any money from Congress. He says they would be able to make money with the soldiers back from war and the store properly staffed. Krause says there’s also potential for increasing sales when the new museum honoring the first commissioned black officers and the Women’s Army Corps is opened at the nearby Fort Des Moines Memorial Park. He says these were probably the most notable civil rights events in the Army’s history in this century, and he says there’ll be a quite a few people visiting. He says forecasts show more people visiting than those that visit Living History Farms, and he says they would be active duty, and retired personnel that would also visit the P-X. Krause says the association is talking with Iowa’s Congressional delegation to see what can be done about keeping the P-X open.
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