Camp Carroll Commissary reopening enhances quality of life

by Mary B. Grimes

USAG DAEGU -- Members of the USAG Daegu and Area IV community did little to try and contain their excitement over the long awaited reopening of the Camp Carroll Commissary. The recent grand reopening marked another milestone of success for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and its longstanding commitment to enhance the quality of life for military members and their families worldwide. 

The turnout exceeded the hopes of commissary officials who beamed with pride as shoppers began arriving and lining up long before the 11:00 a.m. event was scheduled to kick off. According to Solange Gates, Daegu Commissary store director, “Over 30 families waited in line at 8:30 a.m. to shop, and to participate in giveaway drawings.”

In addition to the more than 100 visitors and patrons, others attending the Camp Carroll Commissary reopening celebration were guest speakers Col. Ted Stephens, Commander, USAG Daegu, and Mr. Wayne Walk, Korea Zone Manager of the Defense Commissary Agency. Joining them in the ribbon cutting  segment of the event were CSM Ray Thornton, CSM, USAG Daegu, Kim Solie, Acting Store Manager for the Camp Carroll Commissary, Sun Kon-Cho, President of the DIDIM Construction company—the company that built the commissary, and Kim, Chon Y., Deputy, Engineering Division Chief, Department of Public Works, Camp Walker.  Deputy Garrison Commander, USAG Daegu, William Christman was also present for the auspicious occasion.

A welcomed addition to the Camp Carroll community, the commissary is a quality of life initiative that embraces the needs of its authorized patrons near and far. Gates shared some of the comments that have been flowing in regarding the store, and by all accounts, the facility clearly gets a thumbs up. Positive feedback from shoppers has thus far ranged from “I am so in love with the larger produce department,” to “This has been a long time coming, and much needed for the soldiers and their families,” to “So glad we don’t have to take the bus anymore.”

The latter comment speaks to the past year when Camp Carroll personnel would have to travel to the Camp Walker Commissary facility for their shopping needs while the Carroll facility was closed for renovation. During that timeframe, U.S. Army Garrison Daegu provided shuttle bus services to and from the two commissaries, twice a week. The 30-minute drive was quite a challenge for the shoppers, in terms of convenience, as well as efforts to transport certain perishable food items safely from the store to their Camp Carroll destination.  

Addressing the Camp Carroll Commissary reopening, Gates said that it was great to see everyone come out to support the joyous occasion, and that the overall consensus of the customer is one of complete joy in having the commissary re-opened for the community. The store manager then added, “Our standard for customer service must be set at the highest bar. We understand and appreciate the unique challenges our patrons face, and we know we exist solely for their benefit. We must be ready to serve our customers with competence, compassion, and genuine caring. We must do everything in our power to provide quality products at the lowest price possible. The very first component of customer service is having the products available and takes all steps necessary to ensure Camp Carroll, Camp Walker and Chinhae commissaries shelves are well stocked every day.

Additionally, the Defense Commissary Agency has developed a Customer Service Ambassador Program that provides each commissary with two Customer Service Ambassadors whose mission is that the commissary benefit remains relevant for our patrons and delivers the best benefit possible.

Finally, I want our customers to know that we’re proud, we’re committed, we’re more.”  

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