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National Guard techs back to work in Battle Creek, but with uncertain future
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - After a week on furlough, hundreds of members of the Michigan National Guard returned to work Tuesday.
That includes 120 at the Battle Creek base.
But with the government still partially shut down, it is not entirely good news for them, as they could be furloughed again at any time.
Guard members are back on the job, but are surviving day-to-day now, as there is still no money to pay the water and electric bills for the base when they come due.
For National Guard Technician and expecting mother Master Sergeant Sonia Pawloski, it's good to be back on the job after a week on furlough, but with her husband also in the National Guard, her family is still facing a lot of uncertainty.
"It's one step closer, like, 'okay, I'm back,'" she said. "There is that question of 'will I be here the next week or the week after,' but we're here for today."
Pawloski is one of 120 guard members at the Battle Creek National Guard Base who spent last week not getting paid.
Now, after the President signed an emergency law to pay military members, they are back at work.
But there is still no money for equipment or to pay bills.
"I put my faith and trust in the wing and everybody around me," Pawloski said. "This base is great for pulling together to get through hard times, and I have faith we'll get through this one as well."
In a statewide meeting Tuesday by video conference, the State Adjunct General of the Guard answered questions from bases. But as the shutdown continues, frustration grows.
"As commanders, as even households, you got to be able to run your household, you got to be able to budget and it's frustrating to see that not happening in Washington right now," said Wing Commander Colonel Ronald Wilson. "It's frustrating as a commander not being able to do your job."
While Col. Wilson says being back on the job is a big step, no one knows how long even that will last.
"This is great news and I'm glad, but it's not over, and we're not out of danger yet," he said.
At the same time as the shutdown, the base was just beginning its new drone mission, and now they can't really do much on that at this point.