Military spouse had tough time finding work before furloughs hit

SA military family struggles with government shutdown


As the first day of the government shutdown came to a close Tuesday, the impacts were already being felt in San Antonio.

Nationwide more than 800,000 federal workers were sent home Tuesday. Here in the Alamo City, thousands were furloughed.

While the shutdown is hurting all affected government workers, it is hitting military families especially hard.

George Romero sees tough times ahead for his family. They moved back to San Antonio two months ago after spending two years in Turkey where his wife was stationed with the Air Force.

"We were excited to come to San Antonio because there's options here, you've got Randolph, you've got Fort Sam, you've got Lackland and all of the other government contractors," Romero said

Romero thought he would have no problem finding another government job here.

Over the past eight years he has worked in human resources and family readiness as his wife's Air Force duties took her family across the country and around the globe.

Romero and other spouses count on government jobs for employment because they can bounce around from job to job and still keep their benefits and the pay is hard to beat.

"If I go to work at another job it's not going to pay me what the federal government has been paying me," Romero said. "I just think spouses around the United States and around the world are feeling the pressure financially. It's going to be very difficult, our family is going to really struggle."

Romero searches for jobs daily but even the government run website he uses is being affected.

"I got an email saying you can't look for a job through us anymore because there's no one there until they lift the furloughs," Romero said.

Romero's family is already cutting back on their expenses including taking their kids out of after school programs.

"My son was a part of this Learning Tree, it's a $150 a month, I can't afford it this month," Romero said.

If the shutdown drags on Romero has other items on the chopping block to help make ends meet.  He said family members are helping out but they can't always count on that extra help.

With no job prospects and no end in sight to the shutdown Romero puts the blame on Congress and fully expects them to find a solution to the mess they made.

"I don't debate whether it's the Republican party or the Democrat party," Romero said. "To me it's people that just need to work together. They need to work together and do what's good for everybody."

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.


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