Participating in a nationally televised press conference with our partners in the Military Coalition, ROA Executive Director Major General Andrew Davis, USMC (Ret) called on lawmakers to pay attention to the lasting impact this shutdown is having on the Citizen Warriors they have overlooked yet again.
“Frustration grows among the Reserve Component population as they are unable to fulfill their mission,” Davis said.
“After returning from war or disaster, they see that they are again being overlooked, making them feel that they are second class warriors. This federal government shut down proves to them that they are right, as it is unlikely that they will be able to make up lost training time and income, unlike furloughed civilian employees who will get retro paid. Our military readiness is being impaired, and 1.1 million people in the Reserve force are offended by how they are being treated. “
The Military Coalition, a coalition of 33 of the leading veterans and uniformed services organizations that represent more than 5.5 million members, organized the press conference Tuesday morning to demand an end to the government shutdown. The shutdown has been devastating for the nation’s military readiness and for the veterans, service members, families and survivors in the uniformed services community.
Veterans who receive disability and GI Bill benefits and survivors who rely on survivor benefits don't know if they'll get their next check. National Guard and Reserve monthly training has been cancelled, affecting critical troop readiness and pay. Many services that military families count on daily are suspended. Veterans make up 27 percent of the federal workforce and don’t know when they will get to go back to work. The 435,000 veterans in the VA disability claims backlog have to wait even longer.
ROA members are urged to help build on the momentum of today’s event by reaching out to their representatives in Congress and demanding action to end the government shutdown now.