Furloughed Fort Knox employees return to work - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Furloughed Fort Knox employees return to work

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Most of the furloughed employees at Fort Knox returned to work Tuesday after being sent home as part of the partial government shutdown. Most of the furloughed employees at Fort Knox returned to work Tuesday after being sent home as part of the partial government shutdown.
Melissa Bristol Melissa Bristol
Ryan Brus Ryan Brus

FORT KNOX, KY (WAVE) - Most of the furloughed employees at Fort Knox returned to work Tuesday after being sent home as part of the partial government shutdown.

Employees returned to work due to an interpretation of the Pay Our Military Act passed by Congress to keep the military running during the partial government shutdown.

As the mother of 16-month-old Leland, Melissa Bristol said she shops at Fort Knox's Commissary about twice a week.

"The closest grocery store is WalMart, so for us, we live on post so we have to go off post to go get groceries and with a 16 month old that can be a lot of work," said Bristol.

But after the government shutdown the doors of the commissary also shut forcing active and retired military families to find another place to shop.

When Bristol learned it was reopening on facebook she made sure she was there. "Of course, we needed more groceries so to come here and get what we needed," she said.

Around Fort Knox, it was the same story as civilian employees, 550 at the Garrison Command and 1,700 at the Human Resources Command, were back on the job.

"I think I can speak for all Army civilians here saying we're glad to be back serving those who serve us very well each and every day," said Public Affairs Officer Ryan Brus who was furloughed himself.

On his first day back, he said there were very few places on post that weren't back up to full staff.

However, Brus said it remains unclear if, or when, he and the other civilian employees will be paid for the work they are doing during the shutdown, "Military will be paid as scheduled but it remains to be seen with department of the army and other DOD civilians for that matter, but that's something that we know that congress, the president and military leaders are working on right now."

As they try to figure out how to get the government's money flowing again Bristol said she is grateful for a familiar place to spend and maybe save some of her money.

"Prices here at the commissary, depending on what you're getting, are typically better prices," said Bristol.

There are still parts of Fort Knox that are not currently operational. For instance, Brus said part of his job involves community outreach, but since that doesn't contribute to the well-being or readiness of the military it's not in his job description right now.

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