SD National Guard; Furloughs Over For Now
by Brian Kirk, Meteorologist/Reporter
September 11, 2013 5:22 PM
Military machinery breaks, and when it does, it comes to the army national guard's Sioux Falls maintenance location. Here, soldiers maintain and fix the essential equipment needed for our country's defense.
Recently though, that's been a hard thing to do when forced furloughs are taking place within military divisions. These unpaid days off mean many of the soldiers are missing out on thousands of dollars of pay. Chief Thomas Flint, of the Army National Guard, says it takes a toll on everyone. "Obviously it's financial hardship for everyone. We've all dealt with it in different ways, many of the employees picked up additional work."
The need for maintenance is always in demand, and with the furloughs looming, some soldiers took on a second job. Kevin Mahoney, an Electronics Technician, barely has time to see his loved ones. "Time away from the family, not enough time there and when I get off of here I have a little bit of time to go home, be with my wife and family and then go to my other job.”
Besides the lost pay, broken machines stop for no one, and trying to stay on top of the work is becoming challenging. Flint says everyone is doing as much as they can. "We all want to do our jobs, we want to stay caught up, and we want to make sure everything is ready for whatever it needs to do. Whether it be a state mission or an international mission, unpaid days hurt both those.”
Over the past five weeks, the unit has managed to stay on task while they're co-workers are out of the shop. Flint wonders what next year is going to bring, "For this year we are done. As far as next year, there are a lot of variables, as you know sequestration did not go away, there's been no budget passed."
Until then, work will continue. Being weeks behind schedule, they can't afford anymore lost time.