Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Veterans are keeping a close watch on what’s going on in Washington – because those who were wounded in war may see a delay in their benefit checks.
The government shutdown could have a major impact on nearly 4 million veterans – including many veterans in Central New York.
Army Staff Sgt. Ed Silverthorn did three tours of duty overseas. He was injured twice and was awarded the Purple Heart.
"I bled on foreign soil, a lot of guys bled on foreign soil and now they are pawns in a political standoff that shows no sign of ending soon,” he said.
War injuries forced Silverthorn to retire in 2011. Now, he receives disability benefits from the government – those checks help pay his mortgage.
Throughout the shutdown, VA clinics and centers have remained open, but the VA says should this continue through late October, programs and some benefits - like disability - could come to an end.
“I'm thinking about the vets that are more seriously disabled; the amputees, the vets that are blind – severe PTSD – some of these vets rely on that as their only means of income,” Silverthorn said. “Congress' pay is protected by the constitution, but what about the wounded vets that took an oath to defend the country.”
The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ website
has more information on how the government shutdown is impacting veterans.