Local News

Everyone back on the job at Fairchild

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. - Back to work at Fairchild vo

548 civilians and National Guardsmen, furloughed because of the government shutdown a week ago, are back to work at Fairchild Air Force Base. 

They are part of every operation on base, everything from working at the commissary to plane maintenance and make up nine percent of the base's personnel. Even though they're back to work they don't know if their paychecks will take a hit.

On base the library, teen center, and commissary are back open.

"I've been using it for many years," said Josie Cooper.

Cooper and the commissary's other loyal patrons were shopping again Tuesday, supporting their store after the government shutdown closed it last week.

"I came back the first day, I'm having company this weekend so I had to load up," said Cooper.

Civilians and guardsmen who involuntarily had four days off have returned. Many of them spent last week watching the news and waiting.

"Just a lot of uncertainty last week on what was going on. Whether or not we were going to come back, when we were coming back," said civilian employee Angela O'Connell.

O'Connell and her husband were furloughed last week. Now, she'll wait to see if their income is affected because they get paid every two weeks.

"We'll know on Friday a little bit more on how it's going to impact us, as far as on our paycheck," she said.

Until then, services airmen need are open and the civilians they need are back. For those who were furloughed, the support is there too.

"I think it's great. It's hard for a family not to have that income coming in," said Josie Cooper.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced over the weekend he would send most of those affected at military bases back to work, citing the Pay Our Military Act. National Guardsmen are still awaiting instruction but will not be able to drill because of a lack of federal funding.