Coast Guard wife speaks out three weeks into government shutdown

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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Day 21 of the partial government shutdown is making families worried. The Cape Fear is home to hundreds of coast guard employees, who continue to work without pay.

The Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security, unlike the other military services that are under the Defense Department which has funding.

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A Coast Guard wife and expecting mother speaks out after 21 days of financial worry.

“There’s a large Coast Guard community here and for all that to be impacted is upsetting,” said Melinda Gray.

Gray is a stay-at-home mother and wife currently expecting her second child. Her husband serves in the Coast Guard on the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence in Wilmington.



But, as it stands now, her husband is on patrol without pay. Family and friends have offered support but, the shutdown poses a challenge for their future move.

“We are trying to look at rentals or purchase homes and not knowing how we are going to get paid, how can a mortgage company issue us a loan or how can we make that deposit,” said Gray.

The Marine Federal Credit Union works with each member to provide assistance in times of need like the partial shutdown. Members are offered loan modifications, payment deferrals, loan advances or fee reimbursements but, Gray worries how her family will survive if this shutdown continues for a few more weeks.

“Would I need to go back to work?,” said Gray. “I have a 1-year-old and I am expecting. Do I need to go find a part time job? a full time job? And then, will I have to pay daycare since my husband is gone.”

Gray says it is hard making financial decision for her family without her husband. She hopes this shutdown will end soon.

A recent guide published by the Coast Guard Support Program suggests members of the Coast Guard should consider garage sales, babysitting or acting as a ‘mystery shopper’ to get by.