CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Friday will mark the 28th day of the partial government shutdown here in the United States. Thousands of federal government employees continue to work without a paycheck.
Members of the United States Coast Guard are among those who have not been paid because of the shutdown. The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military that is impacted by the shutdown because it falls under the Department of Homeland Security which has not been funded yet.
While Charlotte is hundreds of miles from the coast, there are members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary that live in the Charlotte metro area.
Charlotte resident Rick Croasdale is a division commander in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He served years in active duty and reserve roles with the Coast Guard and he lives just minutes from Lake Wylie. Croasdale said members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary normally patrol lakes in the warmer months, but this won’t happen if the government shutdown lasts a while longer.
“If this is still in effect in April when we would normally get orders to go back on patrols, we won’t get orders,” explained Croasdale in an interview with WBTV.
He said that when the shutdown first became official, the orders from Coast Guard superiors were to stop everything, but now it has been made clear what is allowed and what is off limits.
“We cannot do anything that would require the Coast Guard to reimburse us in funds,” said Croasdale.
He said the Coast Guard Auxiliary is almost never on the water in the winter, so luckily the shutdown has not impacted their day-to-day activities. However, he said he sympathizes with the men and women who are working full-time without a paycheck.
“It’s a huge inconvenience and you don’t get that check. You gotta pay the phone bill, the electric bill and you gotta get food on the table and you got other bills that are due,” explained Croasdale. “It’ll come in eventually, but the way things are looking, who knows when.”
While there is no end to the partial government shutdown in sight, Croasdale is confident the men and women of the Coast Guard will continue to work without complaint.
“We’re gonna do the job. We get a rescue call, we’re going out. Our guys are going out. There’s a patrol schedule, they’re going out on patrol. We get the job done. Semper Paratus – always ready, and we are.”