Government shutdown furloughs local commissary employee

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Updated: 10/03/2013 9:23 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Gwen Branch has been working in the meat department at the commissary on the NAS Jacksonville base for 30 years.

"I feel real awful, I feel like a fish out of water, to tell you the truth, this is devastating," said Branch.

But right now the government shutdown has left Branch out of work.

"Today is the second day and I'm not being paid so it makes me wonder how I am going to get money to pay my bills, and the bills don't stop coming," said Branch.

Branch said this is the second time she's been furloughed this year. The first time she took a pay cut, but now she said she and more than 200 other employees at the commissary were told they no longer have a job. Branch claims they were also told to file unemployment, something she said she has never done her entire life.

"I'm so confused, I don't know what to do. I've been on this job for so long that you know, unemployment, I don't even know how to go about it," said Branch.

Branch tells Action News it'll be tough to move forward with no sign the end to her struggle is near.

"I really believe it's going to take a while before this thing will come. In the meantime, you don't know what you're going to do for money. You don't know how you're going to live," said Branch.

Branch said she misses serving the customers and the veterans she has cut meat for for the last 30 years.

"Seeing customers come in and make your day. You serve them and they make you happy and you make them happy," said Branch.

Branch said she can only hope lawmakers in Washington can come to some type of agreement soon so she can return work.

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Realchange - 10/4/2013 8:31 AM
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Try being a Desert Storm Navy veteran sick that the federal government will not service connect for political reasons. Request jury trial and be told you don't rate one as veteran. Then sit back and watch as members of Congress show up on the news claim to be for veterans rights and disability but won't discuss why so many Desert Storm veterans are cheated by the system or denied the most basic Constitutional right. That is right to trial by Jury to determine who is telling the truth. Try being on furlough for 12 years waiting for justice that is not allowed.
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