SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The head of the California National Guard sent a scathing letter to Washington, criticizing a plan not to pay 23,000 troops during the federal government shutdown.
Major Gen. David Baldwin says his force will not be able to react under the circumstances placed on it.
“It’s critically important to me, it’s critically important to the people of California,” he said.
The California National Guard, which played a critical role providing air support in the fight against the devastating Rim Fire around Yosemite National Park, is now forced to tell 21,000 part-time soldiers and airmen not to come in for training this drill weekend.
Of the 5,000 full-time workers, 2,000 will also be furloughed.
According to Baldwin, the bill passed to keep the military running during the shutdown didn’t include the guard.
“Unfortunately the Pay Our Military Act, turns out to be Pay Some Of Our Military Act,” he said.
Daniel Bradshaw is one of the 21,000 service members told not to come in this weekend for scheduled training.
“It’s the one job I know that I can do,” he said. “I am a little upset that I’m not going to get that money I needed to pay bills.”
A veteran himself, Bradshaw is working two part-time jobs.
Baldwin says he’s not ready to give up the battle. He sent a strongly worded letter to his service members and to Congress, in part saying, “These inane cuts and work stoppages are crippling, and lives are at stake.”