Fort Polk recalls furloughed employees - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Fort Polk recalls furloughed employees

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FORT POLK, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Employees are returning back to work Monday at Fort Polk.

Prior to the shutdown, Congress passed the Pay Our Military Act to ensure salaries for military.  It seems like there may have been an oversight. At the request of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense re-examined the act.

"That's what caused the furloughs to happen. They have since gone back to re-look at the act and came up with a new legal opinion that suggests 'yes' it does cover most of the Department of Defense civilians," said Scott Stearns of the Fort Polk Public Affairs Office.

While it isn't a blanket recall, the word was sent out this weekend stating that certain commands were to return to work Monday morning and that the furlough is over.

"It's great to be back to work. Number one, what we do here is we tell the army's story and when we are sitting at home, the Army's story's not being told. That's what my life's work is about and that's what I like to do, so I'm really happy to be back again," said T.C. Bradford, a broadcaster at the office.

Because the government is still shut down the question of pay is still a concern.

"Now we are working through the steps of retroactive pay but once again that belongs in the Congress and the Senate and they're working on that right now," said Stearns.

The overall mood on base is a positive one.

"On a personal note we had talked to the other directors and the civilian leaders on post and everybody is very happy to get their teams back together and get back to work. This is something that was stressful, it was affecting our workforce, it's now behind us and we can get back to work doing the job that the taxpayers pay us for," added Stearns.

On that note, there's no dedication like that of the US military.

"I'd like to get back to work if that's okay with you," said Bradford.

While there's still no end in sight with the government shutdown, we do know that people around Fort Polk are happy to be back at work.


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