How have you felt sequestration and the closing of the federal government?
My National Adjutant has asked folks to submit some of the problems they are experiencing either with sequestration or with the closing of the Government. We’re trying to get a grip on the personal stories of what is happening, or possibly the lack of effect.
I’ll give you my one small example. This spring the Air Force asked me to join them for Operation Guardian Angel. The experience was excellent, and one day you’ll read about it in the magazine. But sequestration hit the week before, and so when I arrived the Air Force informed me that I couldn’t fly on any of their air craft. Oddly, the army was under no such restriction. One day I was accompanying a small team of Pararescue Jumpers on a swift water extraction trip to the Salt Canyon. For some inexplicable reason, they flew the PJ’s on a ¾ empty Chinook helicopter, but had the Army fly two blackhawks behind it carrying the reporters. The whole thing seemed surreal to me, because we could have fit on the Chinook with the troopers, and still had room for a 5 piece band and their equipment.
Some programs immediately impacted by the shutdown:
• VBA will not be able to continue overtime for claims processors
• VBA Regional Offices public contact services will not be available
• No decisions on claims appeals or motions will be issued by the Board of Veterans Appeals
• Freedom of Information Act queries will not be processed
• Privacy Act requests will not be processed
• VA’s website will be updated intermittently
• Recruiting and hiring of veteran job applicants will cease with the exception of the Veterans Health Administration
• Interments at national cemeteries will be conducted on a reduced schedule
• VA secretary correspondence with veterans and veterans service organizations suspended
The Drudgereport is replete with horror stories that seemed to be self-inflicted by the government: from closure of the Amber Alert system that was already provided for, to park personnel putting up traffic cones to block people from pulling over in a scenic overlook to take pictures of Mount Rushmore. In fact, in some cases, the WWII Memorial for instance they are spending more on security guards now than if they had left the thing open.
Anyway, how has the sequestration and/or the government shutdown affected you personally?