Local veterans say the government shutdown has already impacted their efforts to help soldiers overseas.
"The war's still going on. We still have Americans over there being shot up and blowed up and they need blood," said American Legion Post 532 Commander Bernie Brogan.
Some of that blood should have come from an American Legion blood drive October fifth. Brogan says the government shut down forced them to cancel the blood drive because they didn't have a place to hold it.
"There could've been people that died already that we'll never know about," said Brogan.
Brogan said the blood drive cancellation made him mad and so did the rise in veterans coming to the post for assistance since the shutdown.
"It puts cold chills on me, raises my blood pressure every time I think about it," said Brogan.
Post 532 is a place vets usually come for comfort and cameraderie.
"It doesn't matter if you served together. Everyone has the same thing to talk about," said Vietnam veteran Tom Blaschak.
They share stories and now, anxiety. Blaschak served four tours in Vietnam. He's nervously watching what's happening in Washington D.C.
"I'm sure if it goes on for awhile it will affect me," Blaschak said.
Plenty of veterans are already affected.
"The education benefits and the disability benefits are probably the most crucial," said Suzette Price, the state service director for the American Legion.
She explains furloughs mean any new applications for disability compensation are taking longer to process. Appeals are altogether halted.
"November first is the day that the disability compensation payments get distributed," said Price.
If that doesn't come through, it will mean no money for some veterans and their families. That's an unthinkable situation to Brogan.
"They should be untouchable," Brogan said.
The American Legion does have a program set up to help veterans with children in the homes in times of financial crisis. Here's a link to that website www.cwf-inc.org <http://www.cwf-inc.org>.
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