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Local Veterans' Benefits Run Out November 1st If Government Shutdown Continues


BRYAN, Texas As we enter day 14 of the government shutdown, many veterans are feeling frustrated with how they are being treated by the government.

News 3 spoke with a disabled veteran, who could soon stop seeing his benefit checks come in the mail.

It's something millions of veterans will face November 1st, if Congress can't reach an agreement.

Gary Banta is upset.

"I believe that our government is dysfunctional," he said.

He's keeping a close eye on Congress and the government shutdown now going on two weeks.

The Bryan resident is a disabled Vietnam Veteran and did convoy protection during the war.

"Four years. Don't regret a day of it," he said of his service.

He is also the Commander of the American Legion Post 159.

"And I'm afraid our government has forgotten us. I think they think about themselves. They are immune to Obamacare when they should be getting the same healthcare all the rest of us are going to get," he said.

He receives a monthly check he never asked for from the V.A. after being injured during his service.

But those checks will stop November 1st if government gridlock continues .

He may have to dip into his retirement savings.

"Well my wife and I would have to become considerably more frugal. I have a cushion but I fear that most veterans don't have that cushion. And so the pain will start immediately when they don't receive that check on the first of November what are they going to do?," he said.

John Hince with American Legion Post 159 says the stalemate impacts not just veterans, but their survivors, and even children impacted by service disabilities.

"When the first of the month comes around and veterans do not receive their checks, for many this is their primary source of income. And although there are resources in the community and within veterans organizations to help them, they are limited," said Hince.

"I just don't want to see our veterans have to pay the price for a disagreement in politics," said Gary Banta.

A new fight for veterans disappointed with what they say is a lack of leadership.

Total payments for veterans are expected to reach $6.25 billion for November.

During the shutdown about 7,800 V.A. employees have been furloughed.


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