How have you felt sequestration and the closing of the federal government?

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How have you felt sequestration and the closing of the federal government?

My National Adjutant has asked folks to submit some of the problems they are experiencing either with sequestration or with the closing of the Government.  We’re trying to get a grip on the personal stories of what is happening, or possibly the lack of effect.

I’ll give you my one small example.  This spring the Air Force asked me to join them for Operation Guardian Angel.  The experience was excellent, and one day you’ll read about it in the magazine.  But sequestration hit the week before, and so when I arrived the Air Force informed me that I couldn’t fly on any of their air craft.  Oddly, the army was under no such restriction.  One day I was accompanying a small team of Pararescue Jumpers on a swift water extraction trip to the Salt Canyon.  For some inexplicable reason, they flew the PJ’s on a ¾ empty Chinook helicopter, but had the Army fly two blackhawks behind it carrying the reporters.  The whole thing seemed surreal to me, because we could have fit on the Chinook with the troopers, and still had room for a 5 piece band and their equipment.

The American Legion has compiled a list of some of the effects that this will have on the VA:

Some programs immediately impacted by the shutdown:

• VBA will not be able to continue overtime for claims processors

• VBA Regional Offices public contact services will not be available

• No decisions on claims appeals or motions will be issued by the Board of Veterans Appeals

• Freedom of Information Act queries will not be processed

• Privacy Act requests will not be processed

• VA’s website will be updated intermittently

• Recruiting and hiring of veteran job applicants will cease with the exception of the Veterans Health Administration

• Interments at national cemeteries will be conducted on a reduced schedule

• VA secretary correspondence with veterans and veterans service organizations suspended

The Drudgereport is replete with horror stories that seemed to be self-inflicted by the government: from closure of the Amber Alert system that was already provided for, to park personnel putting up traffic cones to block people from pulling over in a scenic overlook to take pictures of Mount Rushmore.  In fact, in some cases, the WWII Memorial for instance they are spending more on security guards now than if they had left the thing open.

Anyway, how has the sequestration and/or the government shutdown affected you personally?

Posted in the burner | 55 comments
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Personally, I'm more worried about what happens when the government reopens....

My IRA is dwindling daily just as we must take a required minimum distribution. Those of us over 70 won't have the income to replace these losses. Please stop this petty political madness

For myself, and many others who depend on our disability checks from the VA to survive, who is going to pay my rent and utilities and other bills? Without my disability check (100%), I won't have the funds to do anything and risk being evicted if the rent isn't paid; or at least a large penalty if it is late just by a couple of days. If it goes over a month, I'm out on my ear. Wonderful feeling - the possibility of becoming homeless at 68!

Nobody is stopping the VA checks. Calm down.

Check again, as of November 1st they will stop........

Cannot process my claim. Congress did not object to sending me to Viet Nam. They surely could leave the VA offices offices open to serve those who served.

Still waiting on my tax refund! I understand there are personel there to take money in, but not send it out. Will they pay interest? LOL I think they should if they are going to pay all the people they put on furlough as if nothing happened.

It makes me madder than hell the way these penny ante politicians are treating the veterans especially. We're the people who gave these mealy mouth jerks the freedoms they lavish upon themselves from the president on down.

I do not expect the VA to act on my claim before those of wounded warriors, however it is the simplest of claims in that all they need to do is look the marriage license that I submitted and change my status from "veteran alone" to "veteran with spouse only". The claim is eleven months old and now with the government shutdown, who knows when it will be looked at.

Between my disability and GI Bill benefits that is more than 1/2 of my take home pay. When the VA runs out of funds at the end of the month to pay benefits I will not be able to afford my mortgage, car payments, or any other bills for that matter. My current job barely covers food and gas. I was going to school in order to make myself more marketable in such a competitive job market independent of government contracts.

is speaker boehner afraid to let the house take a vote?

At least the government is not squandering the taxpayes monies. Let them not pay welfare receipients, obama phones, foreign aid, section 8 housing and other give aways for votes programs. You notice that the government is not suspending those programs. The fuloughed employess are classified as non-essential. How did the government operate without them? Very well thank you. If you bleeding hearts want to subsidize the government send them some of your money when you file your taxes. Retired US Army

This is all I am asking for of our government. Stop spending more than the income.

I believe the Constitution states specifically that if the Gov't abuses its legal rights & authority, it should be shut down and started from scratch. I couldn't agree more. Obama is a Chicago thug & is way over stepping his bounds. Now he wants the House to open the Gov't and he promises then to negotiate with them. The problem is he has made this promise many, many times and isn't fooling anybody except 48 million American idiots!

i believe that its not just one party to blame for the entire mess in washington as both have done nothing but contribute to the national debt. i also believe its stinky thinking that believes that is not so. its also the voters fault for constantly putting people back into congress year after year regardless of how good or bad they do their job. its time for us to forget party warfare and start thinking about country wellfare because neither of these parties are showing much representation for the amount of taxation they heap upon us and accomplishing little in the way of meaningful legislation.

Now that the government has shutdown, why don't we eliminate all the people in DC, including Obama, and get some American statesmen instead of the greedy politicians we now have and start all over again, as we did in 1776?

I'm both a federal worker and a full time student. I was required to work as i was exempted during the initial furlough that occurred on October 1st. While my co-workers were uncertain that they would be paid for the time off i am told that i will be paid but the date of payment is uncertain. Unfortunately i was hoping that this uncertainty wouldn't be as stressing as i would be receiving my Chapter 1607 REAP payment however that is also up in the air and i'm unsure if i will receive that and with no one to call as the center has been closed my situation is made even more dire. Fortunately my wife is still working however with a 6 month old and two car payments as well as a variety of other bills this uncertainty building is not what i had hoped for especially recently coming off of the 6 furlough days we've already had occur earlier this year. I've never failed my country but it's failing me.

It looks more like a communist take over than a shutdown. I think it is time for the impeachments to begin. And get rid of these fools, who think we own them a paycheck for doing absolutely nothing in the past 10 years.

NO not Communist. Communism is Left wing, Fascism is Right wing. It is the Right that is creating and maintaining this mess, particularly those who call themselves the (unregistered) Tea Party.

I am a twice wounded, 100% disabled, Vietnam Veteran. I really have as of yet not felt any of the affects of the shutdown. We will have to wait until the first of the month to see if the check was deposited in our account.
I am an optimist and a realist. Seems to me if they can pay furlough DOD civil servants for not being able to go back to work, then they certainly can find the money to pay veterans for benefits we have already made real sacrifices for,and in some cases we have paid dearly.
I will do as I routinely do and that is to communicate my feelings to my congressional representatives. They will understand in a clear and concise manner just exactly how I feel and what I am going to do about it. When you can convince them that you are a very savvy and motivated voter who can convince fellow voters just what are representatives are doing/not doing. Well, they begin to wonder. I have already prepared a letter to each of them. If they GOP blink first I will be bitterly disappointed and will blast letter after letter to them. They are aware that I know how to access their voting record.
Just seems to me that the President is clearly delusional at this point and time and even if he can be convinced that he must be willing to negotiate he will see that as a failure to deliver something he has and is passionate about and he just cannot bring himself to accept anything at all that will make him appear to be weak or admitting anything that will make him appear to cave in.
Day by day this situation is dismantling the very structure that holds this mighty,(well it used to be anyway), country and I am concerned that there is a force at work here that is greater than both sides understand.Really scary isn't it?
It's a day to day thing and that is all we can deal with.
May God Bless America Again.
Gotta go,
Alex Christie
U.S. Navy Seabee,Retired

We use the commissary at McConnell AFB and it was closed until today. Now I learn that our Honor Flight Kansas WWII veterans were told they couldn't view the memorial but took the initiative to move the gates and cut the wiring so they could enter. I am ashamed of our president for undermining the morale of retirees, defunding veteran's services, and denying those who lost loved ones of the expense benefits to attend their funerals. I think we need a Patriot Guard mission to Washington. Wish I were young enough to have a bike so I could join in.

Col USAF retired and angry in Rose Hill, Ks

To answer the question first: I don’t use the VA for any medical service.

So far, we have had no ill effects from the slowdown.

I was forced out of the military system and into Medicare when I turned 65, I chose to purchase Part B, which is deducted direct from Social Security and provides a "free" Tricare-for-life.

The only shutdown that is occurring is the part directed unnecessarily by obama, such as closing park and military monuments. An unidentified park ranger has told that he was ordered to “cause as much harm as possible” by those above his pay grade.

The HO is obviously in a tantrum and trying to “get even” with those bad Conservatives.

I'm a Viet Nam veteran, class of 66' to 68'. This entire situation makes me sick at so many levels I don't have the time to write it all. I fly my Two flags (American and Marine corps) in front of my house with great pride and respect .This is the country I live in and served for and saw first hand the sacrifices our veterans have made. I am very close to either taking the American flag down or turning it upside down at half mast as a show of my disgust and disbelief at how pathetic the politicians we elect to serve us are behaving.If anyone else would like to join me please do so.

We have kicked him out of our schools and our government. I know my opinion is not the popular one but if we would turn our country back to its basics, and trust in the Lord and serve him, we would not be in this mess. Remember the verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14: "
If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgiver their sin,and will heal their land."

Can't believe veterans are talking about the President of the United States like this. Congress did this. The Affordable Care Act has been passed into law; it has passed challenges up to and including the Supreme Court; yet it has had at least 42 bills introduced trying to repeal it. No one said it was perfect, but fix what is not working, and get on to other things.

At the least, I believe term limits should become part of the Constitution. I really don't think our founding fathers believed our Representatives and Senators should have jobs and benefits for life.....

American hero's like Ted Cruz did not create Obama's 'MarxistCare' ...which is causing the shutdown.
If you are going to complain about it...go to the right damn source and people!
If you want to help finance free heath for 30 million illegal aliens and 'deadbeats!'...good..but not on my watch!
Wait till the taxes and other major penalties start showing up... It will be too late and I'm sure you 'lefties' will be the first to complain.

I do not hear any thing about all this foreign aid being stopped but they con make our Vets suffer financially and fiscally. How long would the Government last if they had to live in our shoes. If all the people that have ben furloughed do not get back pay then all the people in Washington should be docked as well. I wonder why none of the hot rod news reporters do not pick up on this ridiculous foreign aid .

How anyone could still believe anything that Obama says shows that ignorance is bliss. The fact that illegal aliens were allowed to march in Washington while the WW11 vets had to cut the wire to honor their lost brothers makes my blood boil, as it should any American with an ounce of compassion. These men as other veterans did not ask to fight and give their lives for our beliefs. My husband was drafted during the Vietnam war, he was injured and suffers daily, for what??? So Obama can use his power to undermine everything that we as Americans stand for. I can remember when if you didn't work, you didn't eat. I am not saying that disabled people should not eat, there are exceptions, but I have seen first hand how our money is being handed out to people who have just arrived in the US expecting free food, housing and health care. They lie and say that they don't live with their husbands, while the husband is out earning money, under the table. I have seen these same people with baskets of food that is paid for with our money, ,meanwhile the husband is behind them with a cart full of beer. This absolutes makes my blood boil. I know this because I worked with an organization that caters to this population. I could go on and on but it comes down to the plain and simple truth, our government wants to control every aspect of our lives and limit our freedoms, and they want us to pay them to do it. Impeachment is the answer but it will never happen because too many people simply can't see the truth. Obama is a crook and hes trying to ruin our country a little at a time, I never thought he could do it but now I see that with all the liberals behind him, I think he may succeed.

Everyone there is a million vet march on sunday, show your support for our veterans, I am going and everyone who wrote on this page should go too. Show them we wont take it anymore

I agree With Sandy Christy

I am 100% disabled due to Military or Service connected disability. With out my check I can not pay my bills, nor can I put groceries on the table.
This is a disgrace from the government, I tool an oath to protect my country, as a result of this I suffered TBI, Spinal injuries, and PTSD. For the President to inflict pain on those who depend upon their VA Benefits, Social Security, or family death benefits is the disgusting act of our President and Senate.
We need people to step up and put pressure on the government to stop this ploy of inflicting their own agenda on us.

It is not very surprising to me to repeatedly and continually hear and read comments by persons who obviously either do not have a clue how their government works, what branch is responsible for what OR they just flat-out flunked US Government class in school.
The President presents a proposed budget to the Congress. From there on it is entirely up to the House and the Senate, separately and then together, to formulate a budget. If and when the Congress (House & Senate) have a budget, they write it into bill format and vote on its passage. Once passed it goes to the White House and when the President signs it becomes the law of the land. The President can veto any bill, but that is quite rare regarding the budget(s) ("W" Bush did veto parts of the budget during his term in office).
Writer DeVoid clearly is placing his blame, based in ignorance, on the President. It is almost entirely the Republican House (and not even all of them, but enough) and ONE Republican Senator, using the Filibuster, who created and perpetuated this mess.
Why Mr. DeVoid didn't get his Disability or Social Security checks is beyond my understanding (if it is true). I received my VA disability and my (small) Social Security, both right on time.
As a man in Tampa, FL said years ago, throw the rascals out, ALL of them. I agree with Mr. DeVoid on this point, whole heartedly. RE-elect NO ONE.
If you're gonna shoot from the mouth, just be certain you know who is to blame. Obama had nothing to do with creating the Afgan War or lying to get us into the Iraq war. These are two HUGE sources for our increasing debt. The other biggies are Medicare and Medicade and part of their problem is the Congress keeps robbing them, just as they have done for years to the US Postal Service ($5 Billion a year). And it was the Congress (again mostly the GOP) and the Generals who balked at his stopping the wars just as it was the Congress who balked at his closing GITMO. These messes are not due to this President. Wake up American. Learn YOUR Constitution and the legislative processes of our government. The President runs the Executive branch and the Judicial branch the Courts. The Legislative branch is the House and Senate = the Congress and they make the laws including making and passing budgets. Out-of-balance budgets create the Deficit and those cumulative Deficits create the National Debt, a huge hunk of which is Interest on that debt 'cuz the Congress causes us to continually borrow to finance the spending they legislate by selling bonds in the US and to other nations.
Learn how the US works. It is not hard and it is interesting. Knowledge is Power. Or as President Thomas Jefferson said, "Knowledge is the Discovery of Ignorance". Goodnight, Murf

The whole thing is irresponsible and should never have happened. Like other countries we should have a default budget kick in when a budget can't be reached and a good example of this is the Israeli government, as their PM mentioned, in a recently televised interview. This has certainly pulled the curtain back and exposed what is really going on in Washington and it is scary to say the least. Lets pass legislation to prevent this from happening again. Look at the damage that has been done because of a few extremists, we acting like the very same countries that we criticize.

It affects me only in that I may possibly stop receiving my Disability compensation (my only income at this juncture). But then, I swore an Oath to defend the Constitution and part of that entailed sucking up a little suffering. Constitutionally, the Congress has the absolute Right and Authority to dictate Spending. They have been submitting Spending Bills that are intended to maintain basic services and Obligations while trying to keep the Anticonstitutionalists from imposing National Healthcare on America. NOWHERE in the Constitution is such a monumental power, money and information grab "allowed"... and just because, as Vets, we have to endure Government Healthcare doesn't mean that it should be FORCED upon everyone else. Again, I signed on to sacrifice and suffering - it's part of being a Grunt.

Contrawise, rather than making fiscally meaningful cuts during the Debate, the current Administration is patently and unconstitutionally USING Vets and Park visitors as their attrition troops to achieve their goal of absolute capitulation to their agenda. Dear Leader has no real or practical "authority" to "close" mountains, forests or oceans, or to throw private citizens out of their property simply because he's having a tantrum.

The Federal Government is constitutionally mandated only to PROMOTE "the general welfare", not to *provide* (funded by theft at gunpoint) it.

My Oath is sacred and inviolate. Show me where ANY of what is being done by the Administration ia Constitutional.

It is obvious that neither the present administration or members of congress care nothing for veterans. This government shut down certainly affects me personally since I am awaiting a decision for a service connected disability. After waiting for 39 months my claim is finally with a law judge and now I am told that no decisions will be rendered during the shut down. It is also my understanding that veterans who rely on their pensions are in danger of not getting paid in November. Thank you Mr. President and all you House and Senate members! I wish it were possible to replace each and every one of you!

In Ms. Kardos defense, no she does not sound like a racist. I did not read one word that was racist. Let's deal with today

Nicole Wischer
Medical Bill Relief, Llc

How am I supposed to live and pay my bills without my VA disability check? I know, I'll address them to the President and send a copy to the illustrious Mr. Boehner better known as the "crybaby". They can pay my bills. I did my time and served my country in TWO branches of the Armed Forces. They did NOTHING for this Country but bicker fight and complain. They have money to pay their bills, it's coming from all of us veterans, no matter what war we fought in. We should all stop paying taxes in April and go on a Veterans shutdown. ALL vets should withhold their Federal and State income taxes. There isn't enough room in all the jails in the Country to hold us all. They could put us on some military base somewhere I guess. But so what? Been there, done that. I say both houses of Congress should be impeached along with that so called President of ours. He hasn't done one thing right since his FIRST term in office. Now they put him back in again. God help us!!!!! The military deserves to be working and paid and like wise all of us veterans. A total Veteran coalition would probably get someones attention, but I think it may be too little too late. Al we can do now is pray that those incompetent idiots the voters put in office on the hill will do the right thing before this glorious country goes down the toilet and Obama sells it all to China!!!!! The ball is in your court Mr. President, Put up or shut up.

Hey AF Chief, Where are you getting your intel from? ALL VA disability checks are on PERMANENT HOLD status beginning November 1st. If you are a recipient of one of these well earned and deserved checks, don't hold your breath waiting for the check in the mail. If you believe what you wrote, I have a nice bridge for sale that goes all the way from Brooklyn to Manhattan. You know, I just realized why you believe what you wrote, You were or are in the AIr Farce. (purposely misspelled)

I am a retired Navy E-9 so I receive a retirement check from the Navy. I also hold a 40% disability rating and receive a check from the VA. However, every penny of my VA check is withheld from my Navy retirement check so I am paying my own disability.
Will my Navy Retirement check go up next month if the VA doesn't pay me or will the government just hold on to a big chuck of my self-paid disability?

What country did I serve and protect? It had a set of rules that we go buy called the constitution that I swore to defend , and uphold , not one person who makes up the rules as he goes along , This " it's my way or the highway" game that this administration is playing with the American citizens and taxpayers has got to stop. I even see now that the reporters are pre-chosen that can ask questions at press conferences . I would not be surprised if they are given the questions in advance that they can ask . I'm sick of the dictator like attitude . We need to have "our" country back to the people . Taking away veterans benefits especially the death benefit , infuriates me to no end . This administration needs to wake -up .

Not too many of the politicians we see on TV look FIT and have never served our country in any way but sucking the blood out of the populous. They should be reminded that they were elected to do the work of the people, not to suck them dry of everything they have so hard worked for. The President is the first Idiot, followed by Mr. Speaker of the house that speaks with forked tongue, as well as the President and his Cabinet. Would someone answer this question: How can you fix any problem by destroying your own country? Mr. Boehner, and Mr. President, I dodged bullets so you can destroy our country? Are you gonna pay my bills? I've been paying yours for a long time....

Jorge you made your point and I agree with you 100%. Thank you for your service and if our so called leaders had dodged bullets like you have they might have a inkling what it means to be a man

I am ordering all of you republican women and men to walk to the nearest corner and hang your heads in shame until you come to your senses!!!!!

If you truly believe this is the fault of one party, then you, sir, are sadly ignorant. The fault lies with BOTH parties. The house, senate, and president are all at fault, and have been for a long time now. Please, don't be so blinded by ideological politics that you can't see that it doesn't matter; republican or democrat, they're all corrupt and self serving individuals.

You mean Hang themselves !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What ever happen to "Lead by example" Why do those who SERVED have to suffer more. If my pension is held up/or delayed, why can't they hold up all those blood sucking politicians pay. Maybe if there pay is held up, maybe they could see just how bad things really are. Do the job you were hired to do or get OUT.

Fire them all and start from scratch ! The VA Systems works about as good as the short lived Fast Track System. No shredding claims anymore, They the VA just delete them ! ! Those turds do not have a clue !

The President promised all disabled veterans and other vets will always receive their Checks. All he has to do is sign an executive order to keep the checks coming, also; the same for SSA checks. It's time for him to keep his word and support The Men and Women who have and continue to Fight to keep our country FREE.

Will my retired pay continue after 1 Nov. I don't receive any disability pay, just plain old retired pay.

Will my retired pay continue after 1 Nov. I don't receive any disability pay, just plain old retired pay.


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.