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Military shutdown pay, financial aid info released
Friday - 4/8/2011, 12:34pm EDT
Senior Internet Editor
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday rose before a few hundred soldiers at Camp Liberty in Baghdad and said "First of all, let me say you will be paid," adding "a smart thing for government is always to pay the guys with the guns first."
All kidding aside, Gates told the soldiers he knows waiting to be paid until Congress passes a budget could present a tough situation for them. "Frankly, I remember when I was your age, I did a lot of living from paycheck to paycheck," he said, "and so I hope this thing doesn't happen, because I know it'll be an inconvenience for a lot of troops."
Stateside, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn sent guidance to all Defense employees and members of the military on who works and when they can expect to be paid.
"Military personnel are not subject to furlough and will report for duty as normal during the shutdown," says the memo, and "Civilian personnel deemed to be performing excepted activities will continue to work during the period of a shutdown."
Excepted of not, "If there is a government shutdown beginning on Saturday, April 9, all DoD personnel should still report to work on their next scheduled duty day, beginning at their normal duty hours to receive additional instructions."
The concern is when excepted employees and troops would be paid. They "will be paid retroactively once the department receives additional funding," according to the guidance, but that funding is in the hands of Congress.
As for non-excepted employees, "Congress would have to provide authority in order for the department to retroactively pay non-excepted employees for the furloughed period."
Contractors can generally keep working on excepted projects if funds are obligated. They are advised to check with their contracting officer.
Financial aid is available
The following is a partial list from Military.com of specific service organizations targeted to help members of the U.S. military and their families in times of need:
American Red Cross
American Gulf War Veterans Association
Armed Forces Relief Trust
Armed Services YMCA of the USA
Fisher House Foundation
Armed Forces Foundation
Comfort for America's Uniformed Services Elite
Homes for Our Troops
Marines Helping Marines
Men of Easy Company Association
Military Chaplains Association of the USA
Military Community Youth Ministries
National Military Family Association
Navy Safe Harbor Foundation
Officers' Christian Fellowship
Operation First Response
Operation Love Reunited
Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service Systems
Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Survivors of Servicemen (SOS) Fund
United States Military Chaplains Association
Veterans Families United
Veterans Helping Veterans & Others
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Walter Reed Society
Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation
Women's Resource Center of Manatee
This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.