Valley veteran fears government shutdown threatens benefits - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Valley veteran fears government shutdown threatens benefits

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - In day eleven of the government shutdown, military veterans watch closely fearing their livelihood could hang in the balance.

Earlier in the week the Secretary of Veterans Affairs warned if the shutdown continues through "late October" claims processing for compensation, pension, education, and employment benefits will be suspended due to lack of funding.

U.S. Army and Navy Veteran Roger Burns of Poland says his income relies solely on disability claims.

"This is a real thing," said Burns. "If nothing gets accomplished in the next few weeks we could all face losing our money, our disability, and there are many other veterans out there that rely on it 100% like I do, that will be hurting."

Uncertain of what the near future holds, Barns has a message for Washington.

"Please stop holding us hostage, the American people and the veterans, we feel like we're caught in the middle," said Burns. "We've served our country, we did our duty,  we come home to our country and now we're threatened at loosing our way of life."

While the Ohio Department of Veteran's Services released a statement saying that county-based services are funded locally and will not be affected by the federal budget impasse, 21 News reached out to the Mahoning County Veteran Service Commission and Youngstown State University's Veteran's Affairs, both were reluctant to comment, saying they've received no direct information on how the government shutdown could affect local veterans.

 

 

 

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