Roach's Thrift Shop: Corporal's efforts save Army money
February 7, 2012
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (Feb. 7, 2012) -- Boots, coats, pants, patches, and just about everything else uniform-related can be found at what troops are calling "Roach's Thrift Shop" at Camp Arifjan's Zone 6.
Cpl. Horace Roach Jr., a National Guardsman from Long Branch, N.J., is a unit supply specialist currently serving with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division's Special Troops Battalion. He's responsible for his own little piece of Camp Arifjan.
Entering Roach's Thrift Shop, Soldiers find what looks like mountains of used and like-new uniforms, name tags, and various military equipment neatly sorted, organized and carefully placed onto shelves by size, service and visible wear.
"I have been doing this for approximately nine months," said Roach.
Roach works six days a weeks at his "shop," even though he's getting ready to head home soon.
"I help Soldiers, and I help the Army save money," he said. "I give Soldiers a place where they can come and re-acquire equipment that they may have misplaced, or that they might not have brought with them when they came to Kuwait."
Clothing bins where troops can drop old, unneeded uniforms, boots, and equipment are located all over Camp Arifjan. Roach visits each one twice a week.
"I empty each bin. I sort them out. I put the new uniforms on my shelves, and give the clothing to those that need it," he said.
"Everyone is welcome here, from privates to generals," Roach added.
Roach's supervisor said the program fills gaps faster than the Army's supply system can.
"Soldiers benefit from this program because they don't have to use the Army's actual supply system to acquire uniforms," said 2nd Lt. Dana Seelhammer, a quartermaster officer with the 1/34th's BSTB.
"Additionally, if Soldiers have a personal need to have more than four uniforms they can come here and get uniforms that would have otherwise been destroyed," Seelhammer added.
However, Soldiers aren't the only ones who benefit from a place on post like Roach's Thrift Shop, Seelhammer said.
"The benefit to the government is huge," she said. "For every piece of uniform, top or bottom, the government spends $80. By redistributing the ones that can still be utilized, we're saving the government that amount of money per item."
"For fiscal year (2012), we've redistributed about $100,000 in uniforms, and we've saved the Army $160,000 since we first arrived in July," said Seelhammer.
Roach's Thrift Shop is open six days a week to help anyone who could use just a little bit more.
"I'm here for you," said Roach.