JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD — As the government shutdown begins its second week, thousands of Defense Department employees at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and at the Puget Sound Naval Station are returning to work.
About 16,000 civilians work at JBLM and many of them were told to stay home during the government shutdown. But over the weekend, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the elimination of those furloughs for hundreds of thousands across the country.
Darin Allsop is heading back in to work as a mechanic on the base after staying home for a week. He says not knowing when he would return has been the toughest part.
“It’s been like a Sunday every day because I’ve been watching the news every day not knowing whether I am going back to work or not, not knowing if unemployment’s going to kick in or not,” Allsop said. “Then it came up the retroactive pay, wondering when that’s going to start. So it’s just been, it hasn’t been a vacation that’s for sure.”
He said he hopes folks in Washington D.C. get their act together.
“It’s sad really. Seems so simple, the solutions,” he said. “Two simple solutions that could play out but it seems like they’re too hard headed to come to a conclusion or a solution.”
For more information on civilians returning to work, click here.