City of Rockland ready to assist Coast Guard families in need

ROCKLAND, Maine (WABI) - As we wrap up day 21 of the partial government shutdown, many Maine Coast Guard families are unsure when their next pay check may come.

The city of Rockland is now reaching out to the men and women stationed there to see how they can assist.

"They did find the money to give us our funds towards the end of December," said Callyn Decker of Jonesport.

As the shutdown continues, many federal workers are feeling the heat from it all.

Including members of the Coast Guard here in Maine.

Callyn Decker is a wife of a Coast Guardsman stationed in Jonesport. She travels two and a half hours to her part-time job in Camden at a hair salon.

She says it has been a trying time not know when the next paycheck will come, but she knows that she and her husband are just one of the thousands of couples around the country forced to deal with the shutdown.

"There are people, men and women in the Coast Guard, out on ships that are not able to contact their families and are very nervous about what this means for their families," said Decker.

Some of those resources can be found nearby in Rockland.

We're told about 80 members of the Coast Guard here in Rockland are at risk of not getting paid next week if there is no compromise made in Washington. That's why city officials and business owners here in Rockland are stepping up to help those families in case they need it.

"We have a healthy fund right now that will provide heating assistance to any Rockland citizen that does not qualify with general assistance," said Rockland City Manager, Tom Luttrell.

Along with heating assistance, many businesses in town have come forward to show support, providing goods, services, and discounts.

"We are a Coast Guard city and we take that very seriously, and so we are here to help our service members get through these tough times," said Luttrell. "They do risk their lives everyday and this is our way of giving back to them."

Decker says she's been doing her own research and is aware of the services out there to help them if need be.

"People are ready to take action to help, and I am hopeful that the senators and the representatives will do what they need to do to make sure we are paid as we should be," explained Decker.

While there is no telling when the shutdown will end, Decker says her husband and the thousands like him are still showing up to do their jobs.

"They sacrifice everyday and they will not stop just because the paychecks aren't coming," said Decker. "They are proud. They have taken an oath. They serve this country. It is just kind of sad that they serve a country that is not really giving back to them right now, but we understand that it is a bigger picture. Not just the Coast Guard has been affected and part of the Coast Guard is to help others, and honestly, if anybody needs help, we're willing."

We reached out to the US Coast Guard Station in Rockland. The commanding officer says that they remain ready to assist mariners in their area of responsibility.