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Government Shutdown Threatens Veteran's Benefits

LAWTON, Okla__The government shutdown is now on the verge of affecting veteran's benefits.

The Department of Veteran Affairs said if furloughed staff is not restored, more than 5 million veterans will be without pensions, disability compensation, and GI bill allowances. 

That news led veterans to protest Sunday at the National World War II Memorial in Washington DC.

"I'm going to send my bills to Washington D.C.  I say you want to shut me down so I can't get paid? You can pay my bills."

Ready said the income he and his wife receive is solely from the government, and they deserve to receive that money.

"So we are dependent on the government to pay us, and I spent my 20 years in the Army and I've served my time, and I deserve what I'm suppose to be getting," said Ready.

He says that for now they can make do, but if they can not get their benefits it will take an immediate effect.

"We have some savings, but you know, when you lose a big chunk of your pay, that hurts," said Ready.

His wife, Pat, said there are some places they can go for help, but not for everything.

"There's always the food bank, but how are we going to keep our electricity going and our water going," said Pat.

Other veterans the Readys have talked to say they have the same problems, but just like them, will find a way to take care.

"We got War World II veterans; we've got Korea veterans that come in here in this VFW. They served their country and they retired and that's all they depend on," said Larry.

"They're going to make do with what they have, and they're going to do it the best they can. All of us will," said Pat.

Larry and Pat said they have seen the recent protests in DC from veterans and they fully support them.

They said maybe this will get the congress to start working to fix this problem.

The Veterans Affairs office said work has stopped on more than 250,000 claims.

They said $6.25 billion will not be paid out in November if the government does not end the shutdown

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