Soldier says shutdown fears cut his paycheck in half

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The clock is ticking. In Washington- still no deal on the budget. If Democrats and Republicans can't come to an agreement, in just two hours government functions will likely come to a halt.

Military men and women are among many federal workers afraid of what could happen to them. One East Texas soldier says the government has already cut his paycheck in half. He is asking to remain anonymous to avoid any repercussions that could come from telling his story.

"This is supposed to wait until midnight but I guess the choice was already made to go ahead and take the militaries pay," he says.

Stationed at Fort Hood, the soldier says he checked his bank account this morning to find his paycheck was cut in half.

"I'm walking away the next two weeks with $386," he says.

The Lufkin man claims he tried to log back on to the military web site to print proof of his pay stub, but he says the system is now jammed.

"You've got to think about younger soldiers that have families that live on post. They are going to get less than what I got so there's no way they can make their ends meet."

With the federal shutdown predicted to last at least a week, he's concerned the military could suffer long term consequences.

"You're going to have retention problems. I think you're going to have soldiers not relying on their government. You'll have soldiers that just will quit just because there is no pay and then you won't have people wanting to enlist or become leaders."

Adding to the demands that military men and women already face.

"You have their combat stress and you also have now the added stress of not being able to support their families and they are over there and they can't do nothing about it."

This soldier says if the government turns its back on soldiers, others may do the same.

"Some soldiers are telling me they are not even going to work Monday. I mean there's no sense of them going to work if you are not going to pay them," he says. "You might as well send us back home and we will find other jobs."

He wants to fulfill his commitment to his country and hopes it won't come to that.

If no agreement is reached, federal offices are set to go dark for the first government shutdown in 15 years. The question thousands of federal workers are wondering ... when they'll be back.

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