Coast Guard spouse launches crowd-funding campaign to pay people like her husband

Matt Saintsing
January 17, 2019 - 1:04 pm

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi

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When she started a GoFundMe page last month looking to raise much-needed cash for Coast Guard families during the government shutdown, Amanda Fortier Morales—a former Coastie— fully admits it was initially “satirical in nature.” 

“I don’t think any of us anticipated how much we would end up needing these funds when I started this a month ago,” Morales, 30, tells Connecting Vets. 

Every penny raised goes directly to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, a non-profit organization that helps Coast Guard families in financial distress, including interest-free loans. 

Morales, a current graduate student who lives in Charleston, S.C, left the Coast Guard in 2017 after serving seven years as an operations specialist; her husband, however, is still in and is one of the more than 41,000 Coast Guard members who did not receive their paychecks on Tuesday. 

The couple’s been able to keep their heads above water, thanks to an emergency fund, but she says it wasn’t so long ago where they were both E-4’s, and not making much. “If both of us would have missed a paycheck, I don’t know what we would have done five or six years ago,” she adds. 

The Coast Guard is the sole military branch falling under the Department of Homeland Security, one of the eight government agencies lacking current funding. 

When asked if she thinks the Coast Guard is caught in the middle of an ongoing political battle over a proposed border wall, she offers a resounding “absolutely.” 

“Whether we have a wall or not, it’s only going to be as good as the people guarding it,” says Morales. “And right now, the Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection—the Border Patrol—none of these entities are being paid, so what good is a wall if there’s nobody on the other side?” 

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