Shutdown impacting families of local Coast Guard recruiters

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Men and women serving in the Coast Guard are among the first to feel the government shutdown. They are funded under the Department of Homeland Security, which is running out of money. There’s an office of recruiters in Chesterfield. 

8News spoke with the wife of one the local recruiters. She says their family is just trying to get by. 

The Kozacek family has put so much on the line for our country. 

“The frustrating part of that comes when as a member and family member you’ve committed your life and your families life to years of service,” said Erica Kozacek. 

Their family budget is on the line now.

“We’re living our day to day lives hoping that we don’t have a car break down or hoping that we don’t have a family emergency,” Kozacek told 8News. 

Her husband, Robert, has proudly served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 17 and a half years. He’s currently a recruiter in the Richmond area. He has worked without pay for the past 17 days. 

“Not knowing your next paycheck is coming could be beyond frustrating,” Kozacek said. “We have to make those decisions as terms of making the lowest payment available here so we have enough for groceries at the end of the month.”

The issues are not only financial for them. They are also worried about their children. 

“We’ve had to contact our after school to make sure we’re covered and that our kids have somewhere to go after school in the event that we’re not able to make those payments.”

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