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850 Idaho National Guardsmen and women furloughed

There are just over 1,700 full-time Guardsmen and women in Idaho and 850 of them were furloughed Tuesday.

In a state of emergency, like a fire, flood or an earthquake, those who were furloughed would come into action, because the funds would come from the state of Idaho, rather than the federal government.

Col. Timothy Marsano said even though Idahoans would be safe in the event of an emergency, the shutdown is affecting the National Guard.

“These are the people who take care of things like maintaining our vehicles, our aircraft, taking care of the administrative work,” said Marsano. “These just aren’t being done at the level they would normally be, and that’s going to have a direct effect on our readiness.”

He said those furloughed won’t be the only ones to struggle financially. Marsano thinks it will also prevent them from stimulating the economy.

“Such as restaurants, department stores, perhaps buying a new automobile,” said Marsano. “Again, we hope this is over as soon as possible, but these are the things we have to consider.”

Ed and Sue Claessen know the financial impact all too well. Their 26-year-old son was just furloughed from his job with the Forest Service in Utah.

“Well, they don’t have the money budgeted to be off this length of time, whether it’s two days, three weeks or whatever it is, ” said Ed Claessen. “It’s a hardship on those people.”

Sue said furloughing National Guardsmen and women isn’t fair.

“Sometimes they’re risking their lives for us, and I think we’ve made the agreement to pay them and I think we should,” said Sue Claessen. “I don’t think it’s right.”

The Idaho Army and Air National Guard was scheduled for monthly training this weekend, but it has been pushed back two weeks, assuming the shutdown has ended by then.

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