- Posted October 14, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
The Impact on Veterans: A brief monologue
I am a 26 year old college student studying Mathematical Physics in Western New York. I live with my amazing girlfriend of six years and our border collie Silly. I work a part time job in technical support to help pay the bills, while my girlfriend is working at a local daycare doing the same. She will be attending graduate school in the coming months, looking to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant. I plan on attending graduate school for Physics in the hopes of pursuing research at a university. We work hard to achieve our goals, something our time in the military taught us. We have both proudly served, having separated honorably from the United States Air Force. We love this country for the opportunities we have been provided, and are grateful for programs such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill and VA Medical Benefits that have taken so much of the burden off of us while we pursue our education.
Unfortunately, we now find ourselves facing some very difficult decisions. With the looming debt ceiling and the continued government shutdown, we are confronted by the very real possibility that we will begin the month of November without any of the medical or educational benefits which we so highly depend on. I am faced with the decision of how much I can let my grades suffer while I pull in extra hours at work, and the fact that next semester I may not have educational benefits to apply towards an already expensive tuition. My girlfriend faces the possibility of prolonging her return to college, and the fact that those benefits might not be available for her either. In short, the reality is that we may have to completely put our future plans on hold due to the current disagreement in Congress. Now, there are most certainly people who are worse off than us. We are fortunate enough to be employed, and while it may be tough we will continue to pay our bills. I cannot begin to imagine the fear and uncertainty that many veterans and people who rely on some sort of federal funding are feeling. The consequences of this shutdown are far reaching, and it appears we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Without a doubt we live on a tight budget, and have little to no expenses that may be allocated outside of our monthly necessities. We choose to live this way because we both hope to find careers doing what we love, and as an added bonus give back to this country by providing it with more hard working people in the Medical and STEM fields. Our situation is by no means unique, and the last thing we are looking for right now is special treatment. We simply want to let the e-brake go and get on with our lives. I sincerely hope that Congress keeps those of us who will be so negatively impacted in their minds over the next couple of days. We are hoping for the best. For this country and its citizens, please do the right thing and get us back on track.