How is the government shutdown affecting Americans? Yahoo asked those impacted to share their stories. Here’s one.
COMMENTARY | The government shutdown is expected to have an impact on more than a million government employees. The shutdown has a personal effect on me, as my husband, my son and I are directly impacted. I am a member of the military reserves at a unit in the Midwest and have been on active duty since May. My orders ended on Sept. 30, but there was a slight chance that I could be extended. My husband is retired military and now works full-time as a federal civilian employee in a managerial position with the Department of the Interior. My son is also a brand-new member of my military reserve unit.
For the last week, we have both been on standby waiting for more information. At the end of the day Monday, my base commander told us all to go home and don’t come back until we got the OK. This morning the base shut down and we were notified that our unit’s upcoming Unit Training Assembly (commonly known as drill weekend) is cancelled. Needless to say, my active duty orders did not get extended, so I am back home working my civilian job. Drill weekend may or may not be rescheduled in the future. As we are a Reserve unit and have ONE weekend a month to get trained and maintain combat readiness, this is a huge burden on the entire unit. In addition, my teenage son just enlisted into the unit last week and this was to be his first drill weekend, so he is also negatively impacted. The loss of this weekend will put him a month behind in his training and in-processing with the unit. As a Reserve member, that has a huge impact on him. Every bit of knowledge he can soak up before Basic Training in the spring is essential. While the President DID sign a bill that protects military pay, that only applies to active duty members. It does nothing for Reservists or Guardsmen, and our drill weekends are still cancelled until a resolution is signed. If we don’t go to drill, we don’t get paid. Some Reservists do rely on their drill pay to make ends meet in this tough economy, so that will cause a burden to many of my brothers and sisters in uniform.
As for my husband, he went in this morning and did the paperwork to furlough his employees, as well as himself. As you can imagine, everyone is upset. For the O’Leary family, we will be okay for a while. We live by the teachings of Dave Ramsey, so we have more than enough savings to get us through several months. In addition, my civilian employment provides enough for us to get by without touching savings. Though we will be okay, there are so many federal civilian employees that will struggle as a result of this. They are in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope for a quick resolution to this issue.