CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A retired Army First Sergeant in Chesterfield wanted to give back to U.S. Coast Guard service members who didn't receive a paycheck Tuesday due to the government shutdown. Edgard Claudio served our country overseas and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a First Sergeant during his 21 years in the Army.
He was shocked to learn that thousands of active duty U.S. Coast Guard service members did not receive their paychecks during the partial government shutdown.
The Coast Guard is the only military branch under the Department of Homeland Security.
Thursday marked the 27th day of the government shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history.
"Some of them live paycheck to paycheck. If they don’t have money, what’s going to happen to their mortgage? What’s going to happen to their cars? What’s going to happen to their food and their kids?" Claudio asked.
Claudio, a father of two and husband of a captain in the Reserves, sought to help his fellow service members during this difficult time.
"Times like this is when you never want to turn your back on a family member," he stated. "Would you leave your family member to go to bed hungry? Would you leave you leave your family member wondering how they’re going to pay their next bill?"
The retired Chesterfield Sheriff's deputy posted on Facebook inviting all local Coast Guard families to his Chester home Sunday, January 20, for food and camaraderie.
"We will have Puerto Rican rice, ribs, chicken, salad, cakes for the kids," Claudio said. "Just sit down, watch some football and share some stories."
Claudio said he could comfortably host four to five Coast Guard families.
"The more the merrier. I'm not going to kick anybody back," he explained. "As long as the Coast Guard is not getting paid I'm going to keep going to make sure I can make a little difference in someone’s life."
The Puerto Rican native said he was "doing something to make a difference."
If you'd like to reach Claudio you can email him by clicking here.