Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Lyman Dickinson, an aviation-survival technician, is lowered into the water during a search-and-rescue exercise with the Mexican navy off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, June 7, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Joel Guzman)
Twenty-four days into the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, the strain is being felt acutely by the U.S. Coast Guard, as some 42,000 active-duty members are preparing to miss their first paycheck on January 15.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
A surprise maneuver at the end of December ensured Coast Guardsmen got their final paychecks of 2018, despite the government shutdown that began on December 22.
But the shutdown has dragged on, and the income for some 50,000 personnel, including 42,000 deemed essential personnel and required to work during the shutdown, remains in doubt as the first payday of 2019 approaches.
A highly decorated Army Special Forces soldier pleaded guilty to charges of drug trafficking conspiracy, admitting he attempted to smuggle nearly 90 pounds of cocaine from Colombia to Florida aboard a military aircraft in August 2018.