Marine store in Afghanistan clears $4.5M in monthly sales


PX manager Maria Schizas-Price says the location at Camp Leatherneck is doing $4.5 million a month in sales and is the top selling PX in Afghanistan. (James J. Lee/Staff)

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – When it comes to morale on a forward operating base, creature comforts are no small thing.

I saw that firsthand two years ago here on my way to and from an embed in Marjah district. There was only one small PX store on Camp Leatherneck in a tent, and it could take an hour to get through the line for the register. Popular items ranging from T-shirts to energy drinks frequently were out of stock.

The solution? On Nov. 15, the base opened a new PX with a 6,900 square-foot sales floor. To say it is popular would be an understatement — it brings in about $4.5 million in sales each month, and made more money than any other U.S. PX in Afghanistan in March, said store manager Maria Schizas-Price.

If it sustains that pace, it stands to reason the PX could clear $54 million this year. That’s a whole lot of tobacco, protein powder and Red Bull.

Like any forward-deployed PX, items sometimes are unavailable. The overall experience is dramatically better, however, and the monster lines from 2010 and 2011 are gone.

Schizas-Price said the store has about 60 employees, including both U.S. civilians and foreign workers. It has full sections devoted to video games, clothing, toiletries, souvenirs and snack food.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.


  1. Im in shock after reading this. I remember making convoys or the occasional air movement over to Leatherneck looking forward to buying something at the PX but dreading the long lines and sweating in that tent during the summer. This is awesome, all the coalition forces in RC-SW deserve the morale boost!

  2. What a disgrace. A news article bragging about how much money the government can make off my and your Marine while preserving our way of life in a foreign country by charging them for a few comforts of home. Maria should be embarrassed to even be in that picture. let alone the smirk on her face with her comment. Keep the care packages flowing. At least the shaving cream we send so they can mark the mines won’t cost them anything.

  3. @Scott, If you haven’t been there then you don’t know. Many iod us who were in small remote small FOBs, COPs and OPs hardly have the chance to go the PX. When we do, of course we buy whatever we pleased. What else are we going to do with money we cant spend elsewhere. Moral was sky high after buying things that can’t be mailed like chocolate.

  4. Thanks for your service Doc!!! But I think you have missed the point to my response. I want you and my son and everyone over there serving to have any and all comforts humanly possible. But to charge for these and then report the windfall is a disgrace. In this Marine Fathers opinion.

  5. Hi, My son was deployed to the outer regions of Afganistan. He took a “jetboil” stove with him but no fuel. I have discovered that there is no way (legally) to send fuel to him. Does your PX carry this fuel and if so is there a way for me to purchase it and have it sent to him from your location….I would really like to send him foods that he could heat up while he is out in the middle of nowhere. But with out the fuel his small camping stove is no good to him. He diffently has appreciated the care packages with food from home. They have supplemented and in some cases, replace the MRE”S. Thank you, Proud Marine Mom

  6. Wondering if anyone from the PX at Camp Leatherneck can help me with my question on 4/23/12. I’d appreciate any responses. Thank you

  7. I was working in Camp leatherneck,but i left to my home country in kenya. I had a few products i had bought in the Px and alot of people in my country really like them.

    Can somebody advise me how i get those items available in my country. items like Military shoes,bags, t-shirts etc.

  8. Pingback: Battle Rattle » D’oh! in the Desert: Why was an unwanted $34 million headquarters built at Camp Leatherneck?

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