GRAND HAVEN, Mich.-Fears are setting in that the partial government shutdown could drag on for weeks and impact Coast Guard service members in Michigan.
“Many Coast Guard families live paycheck to paycheck,” says Ret. Commander Michel Smith, Coast Guard fest.
Well, come January 15th more than 50 thousand members of the Coast Guard will stop getting paid if things in Washington don’t change.
The Coast Guard is funded through the department of Homeland Security, one of the agencies with budgets lapsed late last month in the middle of a partial government shutdown
“That poses a special concern for our men and women in the Coast Guard who continue to perform and serve the nation ,” says Ret. Com. Smith.
Retired Commander, Michael Smith says he’s witnessing it firsthand, families who rely on their paychecks and who need assistance without.
“We have young Coast Guard members that are not high income producing and they are going to need some assistance, and having been in that situation myself, at a younger age I certainly understand the concern because bills don’t stop coming even though your paycheck didn’t come,” Smith says.
This week the “Pay Our Coast Guard Act” paid personnel during the lapse in funding. But, if the shutdown continues Homeland Security officials warn they won’t be able to keep that going.
Whether or not the money comes in time, Commander Smith says he and the Coast Guard Fest group will be standing by ready to assist.
“We will partner with the Coast Guard anyway we can to ensure that we help our local families,” says Ret. Com. Smith.
If you’d like to help or know of a Coast Guard family who may need assistance click here for a link to the Coast Guard Fest Website.