PBS News Hour
BY: CINDY HUANG
October 15, 2013
"We have been assured that budget won't be balanced on backs of veterans, but here we are today," Steve Gonzales, from the American Legion, said to the morning crowd at the memorial.Dressed in navy sweat pants and sweatshirt and sporting an "Iraqi Freedom Veteran" hat, Bill Garcia used two canes to navigate his wheelchair around the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. He lost the use of legs in the Iraq war and has since been receiving veterans disabilities and vocational rehabilitation. But if the partial government shutdown -- now on Day 15 -- drags on much longer, the federally employed veteran fears his disabilities payments could soon stop along with his salary.
"The uncertainty broods over you, adds to the PTSD, adds to the anxiety," Garcia said. "It's stressful."
Garcia said he lost two friends in the war. And another one of his friends lost an arm in combat.
"We were there when we were called to war," said Garcia. And looking out onto the memorial, he said, "You said you'd take care of us after we do this."
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