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Shutdown Would Cause Furloughs in National Guard
When 1,300 civilian military technicians and 1,000 active duty Reserve Guard soldiers and airmen report to work Tuesday around Illinois, they'll find out what's to become of them.
The active duty Guardsmen will be fine. The U.S. House and Senate have both passed a bill to continue paying active duty military in the event of a shutdown, and President Obama promised to sign it in a video to service members. But for the technicians, a government shutdown means all except 80 of them would turn around and head home, indefinitely, without pay.
"Everybody's bills are the same, and they'll pile up," said Sgt. Keith Albaugh, a full-time technician. "If it's a long-term shutdown, that's the fear I have, but if it's short, like I said, it shouldn't affect much if it's a short shutdown."
The fate of Guardsmen on temporary orders, like Chaplain Cap. J Kroencke, will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on their mission. Even if a shutdown means no pay, Kroencke said he and his family are prepared.
"So, my family and I have been preparing over the last few months just in case this happens, because we could see it coming," Kroencke said. "But being part of the Army is dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty, so we try to be prepared in any kind of circumstance."
This is not entirely unfamiliar territory. Last summer, technicians were forced to take a one-day furlough every week for six weeks because of sequestration. Still, there was flexibility in deciding where to save money, whereas now, there would be nothing.
Town and Country Bank senior vice-president Tom Gallagher said saving three to six months of pay helps in an emergency.
But what about those who don't have that kind of nest egg?
"If you have a government shutdown tonight at midnight, there's really nothing you can do on the last day," said Gallagher.
Those without savings could liquidate their stocks or bonds, Gallagher said, but it seems the best many can hope for now is to weather the storm, and pray it's a quick one.
"Things should work out as long as its short," Albaugh said. "That's the only thing I'm praying for."
UPDATED: Sep. 30, 2013, 23:38.