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Veterans on Shutdown: It's a Disgrace
As the government shutdown continues, there is anger and worry from our nation's veterans and military members. First, it was a delay in death benefits for families who lose a soldier in action. That money has since been restored. Then, there's military benefit checks in jeopardy if the shutdown continues.
Ed Boblitt is a Vietnam War veteran. The Auburn resident receives disability benefits from the government.
"I have four or five different diseases," Boblitt said.
That includes diabetes and MS, among others. But if the government shutdown continues, Ed, along with millions of other veterans, won't receive their disability compensation next month. That's the warning from the Veterans Affairs Secretary. That includes those who receive disability, pension, and education benefits.
"I think it's a sham," Boblitt said. "I think everyone should get their disability check. We're not the ones that caused this shutdown."
Veterans are saying enough is enough. This weekend, a large crowd in Washington moved barriers from the war memorials and moved them to the White House, demanding the memorials be re-opened.
"It's a disgrace," Jim Sadaro, a Springfield resident and a Cold War veteran, said. "Whether you are on disability or not, no veteran should be treated the way these veterans are being treated now."
Sadaro is also involved in the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight. Honor Flights take veterans to war memorials in Washington.
"For them to shut those down, is despicable too," Sadaro said. "It's another slap in the face to the veterans."
Meanwhile, for those who sacrificed for our country, they can only hope the leaders of country they served get things back in order.
"I have to stay positive to keep going every day," Boblitt said. "With everything wrong with me, it doesn't do me any good to think negative."
In all, more than $6 billion in payments to more than 5 million beneficiaries would be halted during an extended shutdown. 3.8 million veterans wouldn't receive disability compensation next month if nothing changes in Washington.