2013-10-04 / Spectrum

Another furlough, another challenge

One of the challenges of weekly newspapering is, what you write on Tuesday gets published on Friday but could become irrelevant on Thursday.

That’s what we’re hoping happens this week. As these words are being written, Fort Gordon is implementing the government wide shutdown. But a lot can happen between the time this piece is written (Tuesday) and the time it’s published (Friday).

At least, we hope it does. We’d be delighted if, come Friday, our loyal readers would find these words and say, “Well that doesn’t make any sense. The shutdown ended yesterday.”

But it’s Tuesday, and we don’t know what will happen before Friday. So…here we are again.

As of today, the government is shut down. Our civilian employees have, for the second time this year, been subjected to furloughs, loss of income and uncertainty about the future. Many programs and services aren’t available until the shutdown ends. And no one knows when that will be.

It’s always our intention to find a silver lining in the darkest of clouds, but the shutdown poses a real challenge in that regard. Still, there’s something we can always count on in situations like these.

We can count on each other.

The Fort Gordon family has come through time and time again for service members, family members, employees, retirees or local community residents in need. Week after week after week, scores of our community members volunteer at worthwhile projects across the Central Savannah River Area. There’s a charity drive, or a food basket, or some effort to help someone less fortunate at practically all times on the installation. The Fort Gordon community is a gathering of good people.

So if you hear of a Fort Gordon family in financial trouble while the furlough lasts, or a Fort Gordon employee struggling with the anxiety of our current situation, tell someone. There’s no shortage of people at Fort Gordon who are ready to lend a hand.

It seems appropriate to let our commander in chief have the last word on this topic. Late Tuesday night, the White House distributed a video message from President Obama to military personnel and defense workers around the world. Here are a few excerpts:

“To all our DOD civilians, I know the days ahead could mean more uncertainty, including possible furloughs, and I know this comes on top of the furloughs that many of you already endured this summer…

“Your talents and dedication help keep our military the best in the world. That’s why I’ll keep working to get Congress to re-open our government and get you back to work as soon as possible…

“On behalf of the American people, thank you for your service which keeps us free, and thank you for your sacrifice which keeps our nation and our military the greatest force for freedom that the world has ever known.”

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