Automatic federal spending cuts are taking effect all across the country. On Monday, the furloughs for the Texas National Guard kicked into effect.
The furlough will affect about 2000 full-time workers which adds up to roughly 10% of the entire Texas National Guard. Fortunately for the Guard in Wichita Falls, they have not yet been informed of the sequestration directly affecting their branch.
"All I really know about here in Wichita Falls, we have no one affected that's working full time. As far as the part time workers we have here, they are not affected either" said Sergeant Sean Roberts.
Affected workers will be placed on furlough for 11 non-consecutive days through the end of September. This could mean losing about a fifth of their income.
Roberts worries this pay cut could be detrimental. "When it comes down to a two week pay period, they'll lose roughly 2 days of pay which can be substantial to some personnel" he said.
Not only would it reduce the pay of the workers, it could also affect the time each member is able to train in order to provide for the community and other countries. Going forward, Roberts hopes the National Guard will not be faced with more budget cuts.
"I hope that it doesn't because we need to try to keep our training up even though we're coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. We still need to be prepared for whatever that may happen" he said.
The Wichita Falls National Guard currently has 7 full-time workers, 3 of which were added from the unit in Wellington. They are located on 3701 Armory Road and can be reached at 940-723-6487.
If you are interested in joining the National Guard, you can log onto their website at www.nationalguard.com for information on recruiters in your area.
About 98% of the Texas National Guard Workers are active-duty military personnel. 50% of the workers affected by the furlough is from Central Texas.