How the Government Shutdown Is Hurting Coast Guard Members | Op Ed | NowThis

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40,000+ active duty members of the Coast Guard are working without pay because of Trump's shutdown.
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Donald Trump's government shutdown in search of a border wall rolls on. Few people realize how much the Trump shutdown affects active duty members of the Coast Guard. Members of the Coast Guard not getting paid during government shutdown is a real issue.

U.S. Armed Forces are serving without a paycheck for the 1st time in history

Katelyn Leckemby: Every single one of our spouses is going to work every day and still doing their job, and they’re not getting paid for it. And that alone should send a message.

December 31, 2018 was the last paycheck that the 42,000 active-duty members of the Coast Guard received Katelyn Leckemby & Jessica Manfre feel this first-hand & are speaking out on behalf of their Coast Guard husbands

Katelyn Leckemby: I said, ‘At any point do you feel like you just don’t want to go to work?’ And he said, ‘I will go to work every single day. I signed a contract. I will serve this country until I absolutely can’t.’

Jessica Manfre: [My husband’s] kind of private about stuff like that, I don’t know if yours is –

Katelyn: Mine is. Mine’s private. I could see the fear on his face though, ’cause I feel like when I look at him – I feel like he thinks that he let his family down, and that’s heartbreaking to me. Because it is not his fault.

The Coast Guard’s salary comes from the Department of Homeland Security not the Department of Defense, which has been fully funded, securing the paychecks of the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, & Air Force.

Leckemby: [My husband and I] have to pay a mortgage payment, our electric, our heating bill, our car payments, our phone bill. We do not live in government housing.

Leckemby is a mother of three with one on the way.

Leckemby: I understand that I can provide most things for a newborn, other than the diapers that add up, and the wipes. And I do stay positive that she is gonna come out a healthy little girl, but there is that small chance in the back of my head that she could be sick, and if she had to be in the NICU my hospital is a hour in a half away, so that’s going back and forth. We really can’t spend on absolutely anything at all, and I have three small children that I have to think about, and bringing a new baby into that, they’re obviously going to be jealous, and you want to compensate for that by taking them to places, and making them feel loved, and that they are still very important, and you can't do that.The stress level is very high for me, ’cause at any point I could have this child.

Manfre lives at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, NJ, where she volunteers at the base’s food pantry.

Manfire; We finally got a shipment of meat in. We hadn’t had meat prior to that, and we actually had to open up the building behind and only bring people in 10-by-10 just to keep it safe, ’cause it was a little bit overwhelming. We were swamped, and I think will be, which is fine. You know, we want people to save their money for bills, or for needs, or gas and tolls, you know, like Katelyn’s going to have to.

On January 6th, Trump said he could relate to furloughed workers

Trump: Many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck – many of those people agree 100% with what I’m doing.
I’m sure that the people on the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do.

Manfre: We had to laugh, like, it wasn’t even like an outrage, it was more of, like, this is a joke, right?

Katelyn: Yeah it’s not something that pops into your head right away. Like, I’m not gonna go sell my house. I’m not gonna go sell all the belongings that I just put into my house. Me and my husband, we worked really hard to get that house for our children, and we worked really hard for everything inside of that house.
We will find a way to get through this but that won’t be the way.

Jessica: No. No garage sales here in [Training Center] Cape May.

#CoastGuard #GovernmentShutdown #Politics #Military

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