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Back to Work

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - After a government shutdown some employees are returning to work.

It's business as usual at Fort Polk.  


After two weeks of a government shut down, civilian workers say they are hoping for a permanent solution to budget issues that have kept them from doing their jobs to the fullest extent. 

"I mean it's stressful, it's stressful on the families, you don't know whether you're going to come to work, you don't know if you're going to get paid or not," said Bobbie Parks. 

After more than two weeks of a government shutdown, some of the stress is being lifted from the shoulders of civilian workers at Fort Polk. 

"A lot of the civilian workers I have talked with, they have been cutting down their budgets drastically, they had been not going out as much, they've been pretty much watching every penny," said Michael Buch. 

For government employees, like Buch getting back to work also means catching up. 

"There were some shortfalls, some stuff that was set to the side, to hopefully wait until I got back and take up those missions, we did not get too far behind but yes, it set us back a little bit on some of our tasks," said Buch. 

Scott Ellis handles retirement benefits for nearly 11,000 retirees in Central Louisiana. For two weeks - those benefits were in question. 

"It made a lot of retirees nervous, especially retirees and widows and family members and such, because that's their sole source of income," said Ellis. 

For now those benefits are safe, along with the jobs of government employees, but the fix is only temporary. 

It's the possibility of another shutdown that has some planning for the future.

"My thoughts and the individuals I talked with were like, okay great we have a short term solution, but now we're towards the future and the next calendar year and wondering if it's going to happen again," said Buch.

Now that operations are back to normal Retiree Appreciation Day at Fort Polk is back on track. 
the event honoring thousands of Cenla veterans was on hold during the shutdown.
it will go on as planned on October 26th.



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