Government Shutdown could delay pay for military members

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The possibility of a federal government shutdown is raising concern among some local men and women who serve this country. If a budget deal isn't reached by midnight on Friday, military members could see a delay in pay.

Many military families depend on those paychecks to arrive on time. A delay could leave some service members and their loved ones -- behind on bills.

Thousands of military men and women train at Fort Lee. One hot topic on post is the possibility of a government shutdown. If it happens, military members would likely get partial paychecks or no paychecks at all.

That's not sitting well with Second Lieutenant Lester Whitaker. He has a wife and a child to support back home in California.

"It will be tight but hopefully it won't be longer than a couple of weeks," said Whitaker.

Whitaker says he'll be able to get by for a little while without getting paid. He's worried about how some of his comrades would fare.

"For a lot of guys who were not budgeting money they're a little ticked off. Some of them have school bills to pay and other bills that go with that -- they weren't planning on this. It's going to hurt some people," said Whitaker.

Sgt First Class Aaron Adams has been in the Army for 20 years. Over the past few weeks he's been following news of budget talks closely.

"It's a pretty big topic," said Adams.

Adams enjoys getting his checks twice a month, uninterrupted.

"No one likes not getting paid but eventually Congress will figure it all out," Adams added.

If Congress doesn't figure it out by midnight and pay is interrupted, Adams says he'll be okay.

"I don't think it will affect me too much because I have an emergency account for savings. I can draw on that until we start getting paid again, said Adams.

Adams and other military members we spoke with hope lawmakers can iron out a deal soon. A spokesperson at Fort Lee tells me the post is preparing for a government shutdown -- but would not explain how.

The Virginia Employment Commission has put together a special web site for federal employees who may have to file for unemployment in the event of a shutdown. Click on the red button for instructions.

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