How Government Shutdowns Impact Service Members

While a majority of the United States seems to be a little upset about the current government shutdown, not all see it through the eyes of those who are affected the most. Service members are often used as political pawns or bargaining chips for the powers that be. Although it isn’t only service members who suffer during Shutdowns, many don’t get a first hand glimpse.

  • When the government shuts down, service members don’t get paid. This means that many will report to work even though they aren’t on the payroll. Once Congress ends the shut down, military members will receive backpay. So basically, they’re showing up to work as indentured servants.

  • Military members who are stationed overseas will not be able to receive mail. Although the USPS in the United States will remain untouched, it’s a little different for community mail rooms with an APO address. Since the workers are employed by DoD, they will remain closed for the duration of the shutdown. They better quit playing, I have some packages on the way.
  • Commissaries on military installations cease operations. This only affects bases in the United States. Overseas, the commissaries remain unaffected, thank goodness. I actually went today and it was like the apocalypse.
  • Anger consumes many service members. This isn’t something many people mention. The betrayal those in the military feel. After all, everyone signed their contract in order to be paid a salary for their service. However, they must all continue reporting to work for free.
  • Resources that support families are now unavailable. Programs like the Army Community Service have also been closed. The ACS provides vital resources to both service members and their families. One important thing we utilized not too long ago was their lending closet. The ACS provides household items such as cookware, high chairs, strollers, and appliances for families until their household goods arrive.

These don’t even begin to touch on the negative impact of a government shutdown. The Department of Veterans Affairs has also stopped processing new claims for disability until this is all over. In a world where eating tide pods is actually a thing, very little surprises me anymore. The shutdown most certainly doesn’t affect all the rich folk making the decisions like it does us little people.

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