WASHINGTON, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A narrowly averted government shutdown last week would have caused America's men and women in uniform to go without their paychecks. The American Legion is calling upon Congress to ensure that the well-being of servicemembers is never threatened again by a budget crisis.
"It is inconceivable that our federal government nearly held up the pay of men and women who are fighting and dying for this country," said The American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster.
Noting that many critical civilian workers in the federal government, including members of Congress, would have received their full paychecks during a shutdown, Foster asked, "What jobs are more critical than those being done by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, engaging the enemy and protecting our country?"
The American Legion wants Congress to pass a law that will guarantee the timely delivery of full paychecks to active-duty servicemembers. The Legion received many calls last week from military families concerned about how they would be affected by pay stoppages.
In the days preceding the threatened shutdown, The American Legion stood ready to help military families affected by paycheck delays through its Family Support Network. This program was created during the Persian Gulf War to help the families of servicemembers with household needs such as child care, grocery shopping and auto repairs.
"We've helped thousands of military families through our Family Support Network. If a spouse is deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and his or her family is having difficulties back home, they should call The American Legion for help," Foster said.
To contact the Family Support Network, go to www.legion.org/familysupport or call (800) 504-4098. Requests from military families for assistance are referred to a local American Legion post for action. The Legion has 14,000 posts nationwide.
SOURCE The American Legion