Newport News veterans support Coast Guard members waiting for back pay

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The government shutdown may be over for now, but food drives and non-perishable collections are still taking place across Hampton Roads. 

On Sunday veterans and volunteers from American Legion Post 25 in Newport News rolled up their sleeves and whipped up a homemade meal for Coast Guard members and their families.

"We're all one big family and that's what you do - you help your family," President American Legion Auxiliary Unit 25, Terry Devlin said.

The event was open to the entire community, but only Coast Guard members were able to eat for free. The funds raised from all other visitors will go directly back to helping the service members.

Coast Guard members are some of the near 800,000 federal workers who have gone without pay over the course of the partial government shutdown.

This week President Donald Trump signed a measure to reopen the government until February 15, while Republicans and Democrats work towards some type of funding agreement.

Federal workers affected by the partial shutdown are set to get back pay for the paychecks missed, but that money hasn't hit their bank accounts just yet.

"There's still a need to help them, their hardships are not going to be solved overnight," Devlin said.

In the meantime, local organizations want their fellow service members to know they stand together in good times and bad.

"With everything that's going on, it's good to know that there are still people you can turn to that you know are going to help," Rylie Dillman, who attended the lunch said.

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