PORTSMOUTH -- More than 20,000 Navy civilian servants in Hampton Roads returned to work Monday after four days of furloughs related to the government shutdown.
At Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, more than 400 employees were sent home last week without pay. Following orders issued Saturday by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, they, along with more than 350,000 Defense Department workers were instructed to return to the job.
'I was excited to be back to work,' said Shanna Manton, who is a secretary for the hospital's Director of Nursing. 'We've had to delve into other areas to support ourselves. It doesn't help that my husband is also military, so there was the uncertainty at first if they were going to receive a paycheck.'
Management Analyst Tracy Broday says four days of shutdown furloughs, on top of six days of sequester furloughs, have been hard to deal with.
'The big concern is whether or not we'll be able to pay rent, mortgage, food on the table, things of that nature, and it makes it really tough,' said Broday.
At Naval Support Activity in Norfolk, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Director John Lucas said the days off without pay have not been fun.
'It's got a little bit stressful sometimes, ' he said. 'I really could not wait to get back. There are many of us out there that enjoy our jobs. I do love my job.'
The region's 69,000 Navy families were undoubtedly relieved to hear that commissaries have now been re-opened. Shoppers at the Naval Station Norfolk Commissary said they count on the big savings they get there.
'It's very important, we depend in the commissary for saving money,' said military spouse Chennell Lynch. 'It was hard to get the deals we get here.'