SANDWICH - At the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation in Sandwich they started stocking up last week to prepare for a potential government shutdown knowing the impact it will have.
"We will probably start doubling our consumption on what we give out to veterans and military families," said foundation president Don Cox. They usually help about 400 military families a week with food assistance from staples to snacks, medicine and pharmaceuticals, which is often a lifeline for active duty military and veterans. Cox expects that will rise to least 800 a week if a shutdown drags on and members of the military lose their paychecks.
"The last shutdown we did somewhere around 800 gas cards a week just so they could get to work," said Cox.
Rep. Seth Moulton, a veteran himself, also worries about a lengthy shutdown and blames a group of hard-line republicans he said are toying with people's lives. "A lot of our servicemembers live on the margins, they don't make a lot of money. They've made great sacrifices to serve our country and so have their families," said Moulton.
For Siair Jones, a member of the U.S Coast Guard, it's his first time getting supplies at the center, but with housing on the base he's hoping he won't feel the pinch of working without a paycheck.
"I have the support of my unit and they've reassured me that regardless of what happens you're going to be good because we've got you," said Jones. Here they are prepared since it would be the third government shutdown they've experienced.
Veterans like Pat Eldridge, retired from the Army, are frustrated with the government. "It's unfortunate that the poor innocent people that are working so hard to provide for this country are the ones that suffer the most," said Eldridge.
Members of the military could be receiving their last paycheck for awhile this week. Cox expects in a matter of days the pain of a likely shutdown will begin to be felt.
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