Navy won’t speculate on impact of a government debt default on deployed ships

Posted at 6:57 PM, Oct 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-03 18:57:20-04

One woman's husband served in the Navy for more than 20 years, but Teresa Gibson worried that his retirement pay would not come on time next month because of the government shutdown.

“I don't want to live in my car until this gets straightened out,” said Gibson.

So Teresa came to NewsChannel 3, asking us to find out if their money would come and according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, "Military retirees and annuitants are not paid from continuing resolution act appropriations, so those payments will continue as scheduled."

Thankfully for families like the Gibsons, they are paid from a retirement trust fund account.

“A sigh of relief, because I knew where money for our rent, bills would be,” said Gibson.

For now, at least, with the debt limit looming, Gibson worries about the impact of the country running out of money.

“The government will be defaulted, credit rating will drop, and I don’t know what will happen,” said Gibson.

She isn't the only one. NewsChannel 3 received an email Thursday from a USS Harry S. Truman wife, who asked "What will happen to my deployed husband if the government runs out of money? Will they just leave them vulnerable and without? Has the DOD made a contingency plan on what they are going to do with them?"

NewsChannel 3 went all the way up to the Pentagon to ask Navy officials.

They will only say at this point they can't speculate on what will happen in the event of a government default.

When we asked the Navy spokesman if they had even started planning for a default, he couldn't answer our question, saying to ask again on Friday.

“I would be petrified. If they do run out of money completely, what will happen to ships, people on those deployments?” said Gibson.

A default could potentially impact thousands of families around Hampton Roads.