Local veterans feeling the impact of the shutdown

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Tuesday, Oct. 15th, 2013

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- Day after day in Washington with no deal means growing worries for those here at home.

"It kinda blindsided us," explained veteran Jared Littrell.

Littrell served for 7 and a half years in the 4th Brigade Combat team 82nd Airborne Division before medically retiring because of multiple traumatic brain injuries. He gets partial disability at the beginning of each month, but each day deeper into the shutdown raises questions about what comes next.

"They have enough cash on hand to basically deal with October so after that we're not sure what's gonna be paid out and what's not," he said.

That's not all. His wife is a civilian employee at Fort Gordon. Working in the ER she's considered essential, but her payment after this week? Not necessarily.

"Do we know for sure that we're gonna get another pay check after that? No I don't know," said Littrell.

So they've started to make adjustments just in case.

"Savings will only get us so far so start listing things on eBay and craigslist to try to supplement that income so that's what we've started doing," he explained.

Many veterans are also being affected by a freeze in the disability claims and appeals process.

"Unfortunately, because of the government shutdown that appeals process has stopped. Now it's going to be even longer before that happens," said Littrell of his appeal for full disability.

As that process stops, the backlog of claims is building up once again.

"It's discouraging. That's the biggest thing," said Littrell. "You wanna see those guys and girls taken care of more than anything else."

Because like Jared, they know the risks of going to war, They just never expected to be victims of a political battle at home.

More than 3 million veterans depend on those checks each month. That's around 6.25 billion dollars in payments .

Medical services are funded a year in advance so that's why the VA and all medical services are still up and running.

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