R.I. National Guard: Shutdown would hurt soldiers and families

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – If the federal government shuts down, the Rhode Island National Guard says it will tell 40 percent of its employees to stay home on Monday. Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Denis Riel says the remaining 60 percent of its staff will show up for work but not get paid.

Riel says the Guard's biggest concern is making sure troops and their families are aware of the state's military relief fund.

"It's a fund that exists to support the families or the soldiers in Rhode Island who serve in the Reserve or National Guard," says Riel, "if they should encounter economic hardship and have a demonstrated emergency financial need as a result of their service while deployed."

Riel says families of deployed guardsmen should call the Rhode Island National Guard's family assistance center. He says the shutdown would not hamper natural disaster assistance since funding for those duties comes from the state.

Military Relief Fund
Contact the Rhode Island National Guard Family Assistance Center at 275-4195

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