- Posted October 13, 2013 by
Government Shutdown: My story
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
To whom it may concern,
My name is William Parker and I am a 13 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I was released from active duty on September 30th, 2013. The last paycheck I received was on September 15th, for the first half of September. I requested and was approved for a large lump sum payout in exchange for leaving the service with no benefits typical of a retiree. I am confident, though not certain, that I will eventually receive what my family is entitled to. This is causing an extreme amount of stress on myself and my family. We all have difficult circumstances to overcome, and hundreds of thousands of people are dealing with financial crisis due to the sequestration and government shutdown. Here is our situation.
My oldest son is living with his grandparents in Austin, TX while we wait to be paid. My wife, 2 year old son, 6 year old daughter, and I live at the Target House in Memphis, TN. This is a two bedroom apartment complex where patients and their families can live while their child undergoes treatment at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. My daughter is a cancer patient here. She has stage IV metastatic recurrent Wilm’s Tumor and has been treated by this amazing hospital since July 2012. With a 4 person occupancy limit at the Target House, our family cannot be together completely until we receive our last paycheck.
My wife is also a veteran and between our deployments and our daughter’s diagnosis, we have all become very adaptable. This is most likely why our friends and family can look at us and say that we handle all of this better than most. The reality now, however, is that we couldn’t make certain payments this month already. I have called the businesses we owe money too, but they do not understand that while active duty military did get paid on October 1st and will get paid October 15th, why I haven’t received anything since September 15th. We are not waiting for an October paycheck. We are waiting for a September paycheck and a payout which was approved a year ago. We are waiting for money the government owes us. Clearly this is just bad timing. I am continuing to look for work while my wife’s full time job is to take our daughter to the hospital and provide the necessary care for her at home.
I am not looking for sympathy but simply what my family is entitled to. As it takes 2 weeks best case scenario to process the payment once the government reopens, we will be dealing with this and our life will be on hold even after a deal is reached. I’m extremely happy that military pay continues and death benefits have been restored, but there are many of us with other circumstances that need Congress to stop treating our family’s financial security as a bargaining chip for their political agendas. I do not sympathize with them on either side. They fought hard to be elected to a position where they can keep this country moving. Epic fail.
Former SSgt, USMC