Veterans Prepare for Shutdown Impacts on Benefits
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. As the federal shutdown continues, veterans are become more and more nervous that they won't be receiving critical benefits come Nov. 1. Many veterans are preparing for the possibility of not receiving government payments.
"PTSD, loss of limb, loss of a lung, all that, you put that into perspective, it's going to affect a lot of people," said Rudy Nerio, Commander of VFW 1247.
After their sacrifices, veterans like Nerio don't understand how the government could deny them crucial benefits.
"A lot of us depend on those checks for our livelihood and we feel we did our duty, we served, a lot of us died for that honor and we feel with the congress right now is a slap in the veteran's face, basically," he said.
He, like many others, is 100 percent disabled.
"It pays for the groceries, it pays for the rent, pays the medication."
Another VFW life member, Eugene Southard, said, "They give the legs and arms and stuff and then they want to take benefits away from them? Uh uh, take them away from the people in the White House first."
Public relations officer for the Grand Junction VA Medical Center, Paul Sweeney, said, "A lot of our veterans do depend on government payments."
The VA Medical Center will remain open through the shutdown and is working to help veterans if they don't receive payments after October.
"If it's going to cause hardship to pay us for their medications or other co-pays, we've put together a team that will deal directly with them and will assist them in filing paperwork to request waivers and postpone the payment of those bills."
Veterans like Nerio hope it doesn't get to that point.
"We earned that money, we earned those rights, we fought for those rights and we should be honored with those rights," Nerio said.
The VA Medical Center will be closed on Monday, due to holiday.