- Posted October 1, 2013 by
fort bragg, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
Fighting for us? Seems like they're fighting against us.
Yesterday was a perfectly normal day. We went about our daily routine of servicing vehicles, assisting other soldiers (we support a battalion-size element), and shopped at the Commissary.
Today had a completely different tone. We could no longer order the parts for our vehicles needed to keep them mission-capable. We have vehicles sitting there that we are unable to use due to lack of funds. We have one fuel key to use among 30+ vehicles. Civilian contractors, from the DFAC personnel that assist the cooks in providing soldiers meals, to contractors that support the communications side of our army, to the waste removal contractors, have all been furloughed, a type of involuntary hiatus. In a way, it makes sense: cut out what you can in order to make what we currently possess last longer. But at the same time, it was something that could have easily been avoided.
When I was in high school, I was told that the Senate and the House of Representatives were simply that: a representation of the people. But I have yet to find someone that would willingly put 800,000 contractors out of work, simply because they want to fund (or do not want to fund) a bill that would force healthcare upon everyone. A one size fits all that will cover the center, but leave the edges exposed.
Personally, I have noticed a few things others may not. We rely on our vehicles to provide support to elements in the field. Without a way to get out to the element, how are we supposed to provide the support needed to succeed in the mission? We support over 250 desktop and laptop computers. The civilians control the network, allowing us to focus on the desktops. Without them, we are unable to create users, install new phones, route anything, establish temporary communications, or anything that requires communications over a network. We are unable to order parts for our vehicles, as I have mentioned before. We cannot be seen for any medical conditions we have, as the clinics are staffed mostly with civilian contractors. Anyone needing physical therapy, constant monitoring of a chronic condition, or anyone with an acute condition that does not warrant an emergency room visit will be out of luck. The commissaries are closed. The Post Exchange shopping locations are closed. The only thing around here that is likely to stay open will be Burger King.
In short, this government shutdown is causing more problems than it is solving. Although I do not agree with ObamaCare, I would cut my losses to bring our government back in to play. The longer we sit on the sidelines, the more it costs us in funds, morale, and pride.