Government Shutdown
12:49 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

How The Government Shutdown Affects Texas National Guard And Veterans

Two associations tied to federal agencies say the government shutdown could jeopardize the lives of millions of Texas military families.

According to federal government, active military personnel will continued to be paid during the government shutdown, but Ray Linder with the National Guard Association of Texas said that doesn’t include the National Guard.

"That’s means you have 1,900 people that are not going to be coming to work," Linder said. "Now, there is an immediate impact on that on the readiness of the Guard itself because these are the people that take care of airplanes, that take care of helicopters, that maintain all of that sort of equipment so if that there is an emergency that comes up there's no one there to respond."

Linder said that means it could impact how quickly the state would respond to a hurricane.

"Until such time as you can get a declaration of an emergency disaster and then get funds released for folks to be called on active duty to respond," Linder said.

But Linder said that takes time and slows down the response in the event of a disaster.  

Funding going to Texas veterans’ healthcare will remain intact. Jim Brennan with the Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations said initially the Veterans Crisis Line was on the chopping block, but was later taken off in the early morning hours

"These crisis hotlines are there for a reason, there are people that are in need and you have to be concerned of any kind of suspension of services of that nature for those people that have accessed it or need to access it," Brennan said.

One of the things that was cut is the hotline for the Office of the Inspector General, an outlet veterans and military personnel can use to circumvent the higher chain of command to report incidents of abuse, similar to the cases of sexual assault seen at Lackland Air Force Base.