7,000 civilian workers furloughed at Fort Bragg

October 1, 2013 8:22:16 PM PDT
About 7,000 civilian workers have been furloughed at Fort Bragg as a result of the federal government shutdown.

Many of those affected these just came off a 20 percent pay cut just Monday. Now, they face no paycheck at all.

"Some people broke down and cried," said Fort Bragg Public Affairs Officer Tom McCollum. "We were basically told go home. Do not do your job from a remote location. Do not volunteer to come in and do your job. Just go home."

About 7,000 Department of Defense workers were sent home at noon on Tuesday. Their absence adds up to the post missing half of its civilian workforce. Only soldiers and civilians dealing in national security matters are exempt.

Post families hit Facebook early Tuesday, to ask about services cut. They've made a rush to the commissary, which was shut down by day's end.

Fort Bragg says the Army airfields, basic medical and dental appointments yet to be made, suicide and drug abuse programs, and survivor spousal support centers are just a few of the government shut down casualties.

Families were turned away from sites like the Airborne and Special Ops Museum as they prepared for the indefinite closure.

"It's really sad because there are people like us who want to come and see what our family went through in the war," said Cathy Morgan, who was turned away from the Airborne and Special Ops Museum. "My father was a Korean veteran. I wanted to show my kids that. I didn't know they were closed."

"We know a lot of families who are, you know, really concerned about it," said Amy Bagley, who was turned away from the museum.

"It's almost like a house of cards in that we are slowly taking cards out from underneath the stack and the longer this goes on, the longer the hardships," said McCollum.

The post is stressing that families who have medical appointments should keep them. They don't know when you'll be able to book new ones.

There is one big difference for this round of furloughs. The 7,000 sent home Tuesday do qualify for unemployment benefits.

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