D.C.

Government shutdown 2013: Military pay would be delayed

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ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - A group of new and soon-to-be mothers received pampering Thursday from an organization that helps military families. The women, who are either soldiers or wives of soldiers, are part of the large military community in the D.C. area nervous about what's happening on Capitol Hill. The impact of a government shutdown would hit the young families very hard. 

“We are taking some hits right now but we have to stay strong,” says Crystal Cambra.

In the event of a shutdown, members of the armed forces would have to report to work but would not receive checks on their regular pay days, according to the Pentagon. There are reports that they could lose paychecks if the shutdown drags on.

Sgt. Carlita Harter is a single mother of a three-week-old baby. She’s recovering at Walter Reed from an injury suffered during training and for her, money is already tight.

“It would be devastating, especially with having to pay for everything for a newborn,” she says.

Operation Homefront, which organized the event in Vienna, works to help military families facing financial difficulties. They say within the past year, the number of families seeking help has tripled. A government shutdown, they say, would make a bad situation for their clients even worse.

“There is no question the last decade has been difficult for our military families,” says Vivian Dietrich. “They have been through a lot.”

“We personally can’t live too long without paychecks, that’s for sure,” says Randi Boyd.

In the event of a shutdown, the Defense Department would reportedly tell half of its civilian workers to stay home.

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