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How The Shutdown Is Affecting The Military

Larry Abramson, who covers national security for NPR, sent us this missive, about how the shutdown of the federal government is affecting the Pentagon:

If you are a soldier, sailor, airman or marine, you will be paid during a shutdown. But only half of civilian defense workers are supposed to show up for work, and the rest do not get paid.

That's just one of many hardships facing military families. Another is figuring out just what is open, and what is closed. It's only day one, of course, but Pentagon lawyers are still tinkering with funds and legal interpretations to figure out what services they can offer. Here are a few selections:

Sexual assault response and prevention services will still be offered at bases worldwide, so will emergency medical services. But elective surgery and routine care may be delayed.

Department of Defense schools will remain open. But some child development centers will close — you have to check your local base to find out for sure.

Commissaries will remain open overseas. Stateside commissaries will be open Oct. 1 to reduce the supply of perishables, then they will close. Military Exchanges worldwide stay open. But the Pentagon Channel has gone dark. The streaming and broadcast service about all things military is running a text crawl that blames the government shutdown, saying it can only provide limited TV, radio, print and web services.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Larry Abramson is NPR's National Security Correspondent. He covers the Pentagon, as well as issues relating to the thousands of vets returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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