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Fort Bliss employee tightens personal budget in response to furloughs

Monday, July 8, 2013 - 6:42pm

The white and black sign at Fort Bliss's commissary is the first sign of sequestration hitting the Borderland.

"The only way to find out is you walk into the store and you see the sign and then you say, 'Oh something, expletive!' and then you go home,” Tony Pons a military veteran said.
"Does this affect your Monday plans at all? Uh, kind of. My Mom's kind of upset right now.” Karen Luna, a New Mexico resident answered.

Normally the commissary is open seven days a week but July 8th marked the first day of more to come. Forcing some motorists to pull into the parking lot then drive off in disappointment.
"I think it's great. I'm a retired military and if they want to see screw everybody that's fine,” Pons said sarcastically.

The five pharmacies at the military installation will also be impacted with longer wait times because of fewer civilian employees. "Pharmacy wait time is pharmacy wait time,” Kayla Pecastaing, said. She was picking up a prescription, "it's just going to have to depend on patience and when to get here and just keeping your cool.”

Tephanie Hopper is one of 11,000 civilian employees at fort bliss who will be forced to take 11 days off over the next two months and she says she's adjusting her purse strings accordingly.
"Looking into things like cable. You know, reducing what we need to entertain our kids. Also, eating out less is another thing we are doing,” Hopper explained.

Furloughs at the military installation will last a couple more months and the reduction may not be over. "The Department of Defense can only exact 22 furlough days in a fiscal year. Sequestration going into next year would potentially result in layoffs,” Maj. Joe Buccino, a Fort Bliss spokesperson said.


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