The longest government shut down continues to drag out and neither side shows any intention of compromising. The mainstream media portrays the shutdown as a humanitarian crisis, while many Republicans act as if nothing and nobody is getting hurt. But real people are going without their paychecks while still serving our country.
Although most military personnel are still receiving paychecks, the Coast Guard is not. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are funded under the Department of Defense, but the Coast Guard is under Homeland Security and therefore is not being funded during the shutdown. The Coast Guard came under fire for suggesting that its members sell unwanted items or do odd jobs to provide income during the shutdown. But the Red Cross has stepped in the channel donations to them.
Airport security screeners are also Homeland Security employees that are working without pay. Here in Atlanta, Delta Airlines has reassigned employees to help guide people through the TSA screenings to keep things moving. Delta also stepped in with a grant to keep The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park open from now on the federal holiday honoring him through the upcoming Super Bowl.
Volunteers have been helping out with other federal parks. Churches have taken up collections for affected workers. And even former President George W Bush has personally delivered pizza to his unpaid Secret Service detail:
@LauraWBush and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck. And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them. It’s time for leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown.
For over a month now, there’s been a lot of finger pointing and blame over the government shutdown. But whatever your opinion of the shutdown itself is, we can all agree that it’s heartwarming that so many Americans have stepped in to help those in need. From big corporations and former presidents to churches and individuals, people care about their fellow citizens. Americans always pull together in a crisis. That’s one of the few bright spots right now.