New Year, same worry over paychecks for Coast Guard families

Julia LeDoux
January 02, 2019 - 3:06 pm

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Lisle

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Coast Guard families were happy when they received word the funds were found to issue them their Dec. 31 paychecks despite a partial government shutdown. Now, they are ringing in the New Year with uncertainty over whether they will be left empty-handed come paid Jan. 15, their next payday. 

That’s got spouses like Stephanie Lisle worried.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve experienced a government shutdown,” she said. “This is the first time it’s come to this. It’s tough. It’s scary.”

The federal government entered into a partial shutdown Dec. 22 as Congress and President Donald Trump remain at odds over Trump’s request for $5 billion in funding to build a wall along the country’s southern border.  While the Army, Navy and Air Force are still being funded, because they fall under the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard, which is part of Homeland Security, is not. 

Proudly pointing to a family history of military service, Lisle says she served in the Army for four years. Her husband Thon has been a member of the Coast Guard for 14 years and her oldest son Casey is in the Air Force. The couple also has three younger sons.

Lisle says she and her family are currently stationed in Long Island, New York. 

“It’s expensive to live here,” she says.

The shutdown and worries over her husband’s paycheck come at a particularly financially worrisome time for the family, the holidays. 

“He’s working and I’m working and it just blows my mind that we had to do this,” she said.

What the couple had to do was take out a low-interest loan from USAA just in case their mid-month Coast Guard check doesn’t materialize and they are not alone. 

“We have that set aside just in case he doesn’t get paid on the 15th,” she said. “The main thing I can tell you is for my family, this is stressful.”

RELATED: Financial assistance programs rolled out for those affected by government shutdown

And if she could tell the president and Congressional leaders one thing as they negotiate a deal to end the shutdown, Lisle said it would be this:

“I would tell them we’re real people,” she said. “We’re good people. They are hard-working guys. They are proud of their service and they are still expected to do their jobs.”

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