Shutdown Looms: Moody Families on Pins and Needles

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Moody Air Force Base employs thousands of people in the Valdosta area, bringing in $409,391,645 each year to the local economy, according to Moody AFB.

If Washington lawmakers don't break the impasse, it's these families who will be affected the most.

Stephanie Tarbox, 26, and her 3-year-old son, Talen, are one of those families. "We're all outraged that our husbands are putting their lives on the line to defend our country and our country's not defending us"

Just a month ago, Tarbox's husband, Tech Sgt. Nicholas Tarbox, was deployed to Afghanistan. Stephanie isn't sure what she'll do if a government shutdown isn't averted.

"We will not be able to buy groceries or buy any of the necessary things that we need and pay our bills. You know, and keep us going over here."

Stephanie is a Moody Air Force Base military spouse, one of many who frequent McKey park in Valdosta.

"I'm very concerned but I'm just trying to not cry cause I don't want to cry on camera," said Jessica Martie, 26, whose husband is a Staff Sergeant at Moody. She added, "But I really don't know what we're gonna do."

If Congress doesn't reach an agreement by midnight about 6,081 Moody Air Force Base employees will not get paid, including active duty military, reservists and civilians.

Because the base's annual payroll is almost $230 million each year, if no bill is agreed upon, that would mean almost $5 million in area pay could be withheld each week.

Other area residents, like Shirley Walker, spoke out about the impasse, "They're over there fighting for our freedom basically everyday, putting their lives on the line and they can't make a decision here."

Jean Mason, 61, whose son served in the Marines added, "They have families and responsibilities back here just as we do and if they don't get paid, their families don't have a place to live or eat."

With the 11th hour in Washington here, Congress is down to the wire to approve and send a budget to the President.

It seems to boil down to abortion and a few hundred million dollars in subsidies for Planned Parenthood. It's a hotly contested issue and hopefully one that won't mean going weeks without pay for area military families.

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  • by Anonymous on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:31 PM
    I appreciate the sacrifices soldiers make but we all make them. There is no draft in effect today. No one made them join. Soldiers are not special. They do a job. Cops, firefighters, electricians, roofers, crossing guards, and many others have dangerous jobs just the same. Soldiers are statistically safer than what I do for a living. Try owning a business if you want uncertainty. Business owners have families too. Our paycheck is on the line 24/7/365. The whining from the government leaches is getting old. If you do not like it go find a real job or start your own business. @Army Wife you seem to be the queen of the crowd. Your kids are not going to go hungry in this country. Stop your crying.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 10, 2011 at 07:57 PM in reply to
      If you think your profession is so much harder than the military then please join and go over seas and fight the war and let some of our other soldiers come home! They are over there fighting for OUR freedom...for YOUR freedom to own YOUR business that you are so worried about. I am law enforcement, but I will tell you this much I put ALL military above what I do for a living! I have family over seas right now and I worry more about them than I would ever think to worry about anyone over here. Yes all those professions are dangerous that's a guarantee, but we are not getting blown up and shot at almost everyday. So take your judgmental comments and if you do not stand behind our military feel free to stand in front of them, for they are the reason we have the FREEDOM to own our own businesses and speak freely without punishments!!! If anyone should be paid it should be our soldiers!!!
  • by steve Location: tall on Apr 8, 2011 at 07:41 PM
    @lipchesse- yes, bring them home, and soon, we have enough going on here on our borders, we need them to occupy our borders and they are tired. Do not push them anymore. We have suicides and burn out. Bobbie, responding to your lipcheese response- yes, they go where they are told. And they are hard working young people, male and female. I served in the 80's, was Infantry, Chemical and Signal qualified. Yes, I signed a contract. Yes, you sign your soul over to the devil in a way.... but be an American and care about our CHILDREN we have fighting in our Armed Forces. Maybe everyone needs to read the lyrics to Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" to realize what is going on right now in the middle east. Notice I didn't capitalize that area's name?
  • by Bobbie on Apr 8, 2011 at 07:04 PM
    Hey lip cheese.Do you live in America?Our service people go where they are needed.It is not there choice.They go where they are needed.
  • by Army Wife Location: Valdosta on Apr 8, 2011 at 06:54 PM
    To think that our military will not get paid because the idiots in Washington can't agree on abortion is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!!! PAY OUR SOLDIERS!!! THEY CAN'T DO THEIR JOB OVERSEAS IF THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT IF THEIR KIDS HAVE A MEAL TO EAT!!!!!
  • by Jan Location: Tallahassee on Apr 8, 2011 at 06:09 PM
    Nobody asked me, but if our soldiers are risking their lives defending our country, anything & everything should be done to support them, emotionally, physically & financially. Bring our soldiers back home and let them guard our borders. Shooting at anyone attempting to come in our back door & send folks home that weren't born here. Everyone wins, except the illegals.
  • by Bobbie Location: Hatsman on Apr 8, 2011 at 06:07 PM
    Starting with the president and going on down to our local government should give up there pay.They are already rich,they don't need the money.What has this country come to.We the people need to stand up and say enough is enough.We need to take our country back.
  • by Bobbie Location: hatsman on Apr 8, 2011 at 05:44 PM
    Why should our service Men & Women have to go without.They are defending our country.What about the fat cats in Washington.They are rich they don't need the money.Take the money from them they wont even miss it.Starting from the President and going on down.I have yet to hear any of them say I will give up my pay.I am not in the service but I feel for them.The leaders of our country don't give a dam about about our country or the people.
  • by Lip Cheese on Apr 8, 2011 at 05:25 PM
    The soldiers are fighting an unjust war and should be at home instead of occupying another country.
  • by Sad Sack Location: Crawfordille/Military Contractor on Apr 8, 2011 at 04:51 PM
    If Obummer and Reid get their head outta their a%%$ and get a clue as to what the American People want, we'll be OK. But I doubt that will happen since their mission is to destroy America.
    • reply
      by Bobbie on Apr 8, 2011 at 06:49 PM in reply to Sad Sack
      You know it only took one person to take Prayer out of every thing.Why do we stand for it.We need to stand up and have our say.I am only one person.We need to stand together and let the goverment know that we will not stand for this bull S
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