I feel compelled, during this serious reign of ignorance and insolence and insanity, to write something. And I don't even really know what to write, to be honest. It is not likely that this information will be new to anyone who reads it. Because everyone knows someone affected by the government shutdown. There are so many directions to look, so many points to be made...so I'm just going to share my story and my feelings.
My husband is a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army. I am a disabled Army veteran. I am seven months pregnant with our second child, and I have two wonderful stepchildren. Currently, my husband is out of the country, as are many others. If his return ticket had not already been purchased, he would be required to remain out of the country until the government reopened.
Most of the country is upset at the government shutdown. Congress' approval rating is at 10%. Hell, I currently like oral surgery and scrubbing toilets more than I like the government. Like many families, we are a household dependent upon two incomes. My husband's earnings, thank goodness, have been secured (albeit secured last minute). The Veterans Affairs office has said that they are capable of dispersing one more round of payment, and after that will be unable to make any more until the government is reopened. The same is being said of VA educational benefits, I'm hearing.
A good friend of mine is now furloughed from his government job. He has a wife and two children. This morning, I read many jokes on our local installation's Facebook page regarding the craziness ensuing on other posts due to things like commissary closures and shifts in the capabilities of silly, inconsequential things like Military Treatment Facilities and Armed Forces academies.
We have worked without water and food. We have worked without showers. We have worked without sleep, and at times without medical attention. A large number of us have worked and lived below the poverty line and without our loved ones in order to provide for this country. We are students. Neighbors. Friends. Daughters, sons, wives, husbands, and parents. We are members of every community spanning the United States.
We are not a family whose vacation to Yellowstone has been interrupted. We are not a small business whose loan has been postponed. We are a cog in a vast group of people who have worked and will continue to work tirelessly and selflessly.
And we expect the same in return.