Feeling Unappreciated: Shutdown Hitting Northland Coast Guard Families

Many Working Without Pay

CLOQUET, Minn.- In this Cloquet house, dinner is becoming limited to a few options.

“We have leftover Hamburger Helper, there’s pork chops. There’s hotdogs, mommy bought plenty of hotdogs,” the mother tells her children.

“It’s pasta dishes, it’s things that you can get dirt cheap,” said Andrea Hawkins.

“Y’know, it’s like living on a college kid’s income all over again.”

Hawkins lives with her family in Cloquet.

Her husband: Jarrod Hawkins, a Petty Officer 1st Class with the Coast Guard in Duluth.

Because of the Government Shutdown, for the past 15 days he’s held that position without pay.

“We did get a check on Dec 31 by an emergency passing, but everything after that is all up in the air for us,” said Andrea.

This is especially stressful for them, because they just moved to their house in the summer.

This comes after President Trump shut the government down, demanding that Democrats come to an agreement to fund his plans for a wall along the Mexico border.

Trump has said he is prepared to extend the shutdown for months, even years to get what he wants.

An ominous warning, for the federal employees across the country who are currently furloughed, working without pay, while still sacrificing time with their families.

“You kinda start feeling pushed to the side, and like your spouse’s job is less appreciated because they’re not getting paid for what they’re still expected to do.”

Now, Trump says he might declare the situation a national emergency.

“Our congressmen, our senators are there, they’re still getting paid, no matter how long this takes they get paid,” Hawkins said. “But, the Coast Guard is being essentially punished, for mommy and daddy fighting.”

That mommy and daddy fighting is taking a toll not only on Andrea and Jarrod, but on their three kids.

“You’re at the grocery store, and your child wants, y’know just some simple treat, something menial, like a candy bar,” said Hawkins, fighting back tears.

“But you’re like, ‘I can’t,’ because I don’t know if I’m going to get a paycheck next week.”

They’re the ones, Hawkins said, the politicians extending the shutdown in Washington don’t see.

“It’s our kids that suffer the most.”

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