ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- The start of the new year means the start of new benefits for some veterans. This includes a law which expands access to commissary and military exchanges to more than 4 million vets.

“Veterans have received a nice New Year’s surprise this year,” said John Walters, a United States veteran. 

Walters among those excited that a new that went into effect on January 1 which allows millions of veterans to gain access to the stores on a military base.

“The veterans who maybe served one tour like I did and did some reserve time typically have not been able to shop at the commissary grocery store or the retail exchange shops on bases but we are now allowed to do that,” added Walters.

Once they complete the proper paper work veterans who fall in three additional categories will be authorized to shop.  They include purple heart recipients, former prisoners of war, and all veterans with service-connected disabilities. Prior to the change only active military and those retired with more than 20 years could gain access the base stores, where shoppers say items are a lot cheaper and are not taxed.

“The prices are very reasonable and the people are very nice” said veteran Tony Singfield.

“I like the verity that they offer and tax free is always a good incentive as well,” said Singfield's wife Veronica.

And, the best part is the veterans don’t have to drive to your closest base to take advantage of the discounts because many of the stores also have online shopping available.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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