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U.S. military is taking blows from the government shutdown

Posted: 6:35 PM, Jan 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-22 20:26:30-05

POINT LOMA (KGTV) - The government shutdown is impacting the military. A lot of people were talking about it inside Oggi’s at Liberty Station. 

Patrick Spacek was there on Sunday cheered on his beloved Jaguars. 

“Now we have a chance to knock off the Goliath of teams!” Spacek said about his beloved Jaguars. “Looks like they're just going to take a knee.”

Uncle Sam did the same. With lawmakers at loggerheads, our military is caught int he crosshairs. 

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Spacek said. “It's more of disgusted.”

Local commissaries are closing and bereavement benefits are at risk. The Armed Forces Network originally said troops overseas would not be able to watch the championship football games, but the Department of Defense found a way to make it work.

Civilian employees who are considered non-essential are furloughed. Cole Hanson, who works at MCRD is among them. 

“During this time, we can't report to work, we can't collect pay, we can't even take leave that we have earned in order to be paid,” Hanson explained.

He is taking two hits. After nearly 32 years in the Army Reserves, he said he has to stop training for now. He has been through it before. 

“In 2013 we were furloughed,” Hanson said. “It was a matter of carrying some of our debts on credit cards and savings… and hope that when congress came back they would give us backpay, which they did.”

The Department of Defense said no new contracts will be issued unless they are considered critical. Some contractors seem to be in a gray area.

“I'm a contractor, and I still don't know if I'm going to work tomorrow,” Spacek said. 

Spacek feared those still working will shoulder a greater workload with support staff.

The military memo made it clear that active duty troops will continue working. Troops will not get paid while working at the risk of paying the ultimate price. 

“The bottom line is You've got to do what's best for the country,” Spacek added.