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The price of the potential government shutdown for one military family

10:11 PM, Sep 27, 2013   |    comments
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FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- We visited Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, where no doubt, many families are keeping a close eye on the potential government shutdown. 

Navy wife Summer Simmons has a zillion reasons why she needs her paycheck, "So the bills can go out, so the kids can get fed, so the menu can get planned, so the gas can get in the car, so I can get him (husband Steve) to appointments, the kids to appointments, to school. The one thing in our life that is constant is our paycheck and a government shutdown means that that one constant is gone."

At the Simmons house, the looming shutdown would add insult to injury, literally. 

Summer's husband, Steve, is suffering from an undiagnosed illness and has been confined to a wheelchair. A Naval administrative officer, Steve was on one of the first ships to respond to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster in 2011. A month later, his health started disintegrating, Steve says it's been a tough transition, "It's like learning a whole new way of life. You go from being completely able-bodied to depending on a wheelchair." So, now, Summer's full-time job is to take care of Steve. 

Steve used to be extremely into fitness. He even climbed Hawaii's notorious hiking trail referred to as "Stairway to Heaven." 

To say this transition has not been easy, is an understatement. If Congress wants to learn a thing or two about working together under pressure, there's no better place than here. Summer says they are blessed, "We have each other, we have three amazing children, we have a great support system, in Steve's family and my friends, we have it all." Steve adds, "I honestly don't know where I'd be without her."

You can call that 'job security' amidst a Congress that Summer says needs a little perspective, "It's not that hard. It's not about Republican, it's not about Democrat. It's not about Tea Party, it's not about Obamacare. It's about men and women and children who need these people that they have elected to do their stinking jobs, plain and simple.
 
And, really, what can you add to that?

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