Government shutdown impacting all ages

WIC recipients, veterans impacted by shutdown

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The government shutdown is affecting every age group of American citizens, from babies to the elderly.

Channel 4 stopped by Kids First of Florida in Orange Park on Tuesday afternoon. Kids First works with foster families in Clay County.

Nora Milne, said the Federal Government hasn't given them any guidance on what will happen.

"We really have not gotten any feedback about this particular program, nor have we gotten any problems yet from foster parents, but that's probably going to come eventually," said Milne.

Federal funding for the WIC program isn't coming through. That means women, infants and children are in jeopardy by the end of the month if the shutdown continues. WIC provides food subsidies to make sure that children are fed. Milne said in the foster program, that funding and that food is critical.

"Many times the children come into care where their nutritional needs were not met," said Milne. "We also get newborns that have maybe come in positive to drugs where nutrition is very valuable. So yes, it is helpful."

It's not just the young who are impacted by the shutdown. Jacksonville's veterans are impacted too as they rallied in Jacksonville Tuesday, claiming their benefits are suffering.

"My dad served 23 years in the Navy, most of it on the enterprise as a helicopter pilot, and you know he's gone nine months at a time. I saw him for like maybe three months and then he was back out there again," one Veteran told Channel 4. "They had long deployments, families had to go through the same thing, now you see they're irritating the veterans by, you know, they shut down the commissaries, messing with their benefits. They should be fully funded. All the health benefits, everything. They served they did more than anybody else for this country."

A number of vets are also not happy numerous war memorials around the country are shut down.

"I think the blame is the American people. We've blamed Republicans, we've blamed democrats, we've blamed Congress we've blamed the President. We've got exactly what we've asked for," said Retired US Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell. "One of the things we're trying to do on this tour is in the DNA of every veteran in this country: To defend this country, and we're calling on all 20 million of us to lend their voices, help us so we can raise things on these issues and when they come up, then we can be a singular voice out there to our lawmakers."

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