ELEANOR, W.Va. -- Vietnam veteran Michael Dunlap always drove the buggy.
When the U.S. Navy veteran and his high school sweetheart wife, Connie, would walk down the aisles of the military commissary on-site sale, he was the one who pushed the cart, Connie said.
"My husband loved these sales. He always had a buggy full of everything," Connie, 64, said Saturday at the West Virginia National Guard's annual commissary sale in Eleanor.
On Saturday, though, Connie walked with the cart by herself for the first time since her husband died from surgery complications in January.
"I called my daughter this morning and told her I couldn't go, I couldn't do it," Connie said between tears. "But she said that I could do it. Today was hard, but I'm OK now."
About 350 people shopped Saturday at the two-day sale, said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jenny Mae Pridemore. Although the sale didn't start until 10 a.m., Pridemore said people started lining up outside the armory at about 7:30 a.m.
The sale continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Military commissaries provide groceries at savings to service members that average more than 30 percent compared to civilian stores, Pridemore said.
Current and retired servicemembers from any branch of service can stroll down aisles of fresh meat, produce, household-cleaning and personal-care items, canned goods, holiday items, beverages and a variety of nonperishable goods.
Because there are no permanent commissaries in West Virginia, The National Guard partners with the Defense Commissary Agency to bring the on-site commissary sale program to armories around the state.
The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, provided the supplies for the sale.
Wright-Patterson brought everything on three trucks. Once it's gone, it's gone, Pridemore said.
What sells out the quickest in the Mountain state?
Meat, Pridemore said.
"At the first sale, in August 2008 in Kingwood, West Virginia, they had to make two trips back to Wright-Pat for more meat," Pridemore said with a laugh. "They've gotten a feel for what the West Virginia population likes to buy."