Encanto Marine Veteran Feels Pain of Continued Government Shutdown

An Encanto Marine veteran has continued to feel the consequences of the ongoing government shutdown as it reached day 33 Wednesday.

In Hector Loya’s modest home, the fridge is sparse, bills are piling up, and the high chair is empty.

But Loya is not homeless, not unemployed, and hasn’t suffered a tragedy that’s set him back.

The proud Marine veteran simply is a victim of the painful reality of the government shutdown.

“I’m emotionally stressed out, confused, just trying to take it day by day,” said Loya.

Loya is a correctional officer at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) downtown, which means he – deemed essential – must work without pay during the shutdown.

And he, along with thousands of San Diegans working without pay or furloughed at home, have no idea when they’ll be paid again.

“We’ve been working our butt off to feed our families. Now they’re taking that from us,” he told NBC 7.

So, as supplies, like gas, continue to run low, Loya decided to have his wife and one-year-old daughter, Vivian, fly to El Paso to stay with his in-laws until the money starts flowing in again.

“How do you think that makes me feel, as a man? That’s what the government has done to me,” Loya said.

The man, who said he keeps the public safe monitoring inmates at the MCC, is now burning through savings, relying on credit cards to get by, and taking advantage of generosity like the free lunch in Balboa Park put on by Yelp for federal workers.

Loya said he’s not one to rely on hope, but made an exception to hope those who govern will reopen the government.

“Make a decision, that’s what you guys get paid for. You guys are still getting paid. We’re not,” he said.

Loya said once the shutdown ends, he can be reunited with his family again.

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