'I don't want it': Airman gives back paycheck, asks others to do same
October 4th, 2013
02:04 PM ET

'I don't want it': Airman gives back paycheck, asks others to do same

By Barbara Starr

The e-mail showed up in my inbox from an Air Force tech sergeant asking I not use his name because he doesn’t have the military’s permission for what he’s done.

What he’s done is say to the politicians of all stripes: “I don’t want it.”

The young airman has begun a website for military members to donate their paychecks to help others during the government shutdown.

“I am very frustrated with the government shutdown, and its impact on the very people we are fighting for, and more specifically, our most vulnerable Americans. I was equally as frustrated to see Congress choose to fund my paycheck while my brothers and sisters go without. I don't want it,” he said

The site http://www.keepmypaycheck.org/ allows anyone, military, and civilians to donate money, or their pay as part of a message to Congress that the military doesn’t want special treatment, he said.

Congress approved pay for active duty troops even with the shutdown, but some 400,000 Defense Department civilians have been sent home with no pay.

Who's keeping paycheck? Senate | House

The donations will go to Feeding America, one of the largest charities in the nation for helping feed those in need—some 25 million Americans a year.

“Service members fight to protect and promote a more perfect union; this isn't it. And until Congress restores funding, we will step in and donate our paychecks along with our lives to protect the country we love,” he said.

On the website which went active Thursday night he adds, “We serve our country out of a sense of duty. And we will share in our country's hardships. So until Congress chooses to restore funding for programs that allow the families we fight for to survive at home, we are donating our paychecks to the poorest among us, those most impacted by the shutdown.”

He hopes to raise $50,000.

Congress approved legislation earlier this week to ensure that troops would be paid during the shutdown.

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. http://www.agenceneptune.com/image/monclerpascher-fr.php

    - Dieu est une femme? ??
    http://www.agenceneptune.com/image/monclerpascher-fr.php http://www.agenceneptune.com/image/monclerpascher-fr.php

    November 17, 2013 at 5:24 am | Reply
  2. Stelio

    Biggest idiot on earth heck I'll take his check and I'm an airman... I think bed cruz or w.e his name is should give his up and the whole tea party be put in a work camp in Siberia

    October 21, 2013 at 10:24 am | Reply
  3. the navy mp adivs is congruent to 1 report

    The phcologist making gulity finding agist whom there serdering to – order is to complie me keys of builings then i can revuiew your pay checks as brute force cabible to do so !?..? if there fired dont let them promote shame on you – so postale worker builings and make and find abraham linchole builing keys for landscaping federal and state contrats of lobster science of bushes from lobster poisons anad if there colsed builings they make me the key sereder or it out to iraque of syria somplace to ask why not where the keys now ! so find keys -

    October 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • charles

      none of that was even intelligible. your spellchecker have a stroke?

      October 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
      • Dougals

        I'm sure English isn't his first language... or his second.

        But it was fun *trying* to figure out what he was trying to say. :)

        October 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  4. sky list

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    October 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  5. bella

    hopefully airman has started to send the msg that all politicians all the way down to local elected officials past and present should donate at least one paycheck. would be great if all the congress etc voted immediately for a minimum of 3% salary deduction and no pay increases for 5 years. why cant they reach across party lines and do this as a good faith gesture to show the american public they really are trying to do the right thing?

    October 6, 2013 at 6:35 am | Reply
    • ShiverMeTimbers

      Part of the reason might be that many of them are corrupt and don't care about us.

      October 7, 2013 at 4:27 am | Reply
    • Wild Omar

      it's a stunt. Nothing more. Service men and women are paid very little. Most live from pay check to pay check. If this young lad (if he is real) were in my unit, I would take him aside and quietly counsel him to stop being an idiot. Deposit the pay, and get back to being an airman. Oh, and try to find some time to apply an iron to that uniform...

      October 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • Dougals

      The flaw in that logic is obvious: there is not one bit of supporting evidence to suggest that they *are* trying to do the right thing.

      October 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  6. d

    It's reassuring to know the terrorists can't take away our freedom, let us die awaiting surgery, take away our cars and houses, and throw our starving widows and orphans into the streets. ONLY OUR GOVERNMENT CAN DO THAT!

    1,000,000 disabled veterans in backlog, 911 1st responders dying of cancer the government won't pay for a decade later, and now our widows and orphans will be thrown in the streets while their father waits on a surgery that never comes, all while our leaders cut this country up a little finer to split between themselves.

    Here's hoping every politician in Washington has a run-in with a disabled veteran they've betrayed, and gets treated to a wall-to-wall counseling session they'll never forget. It's no wonder they had the DHS CLASSIFY DISABLED VETERANS AS TERRORISTS. They were planning for the future.

    When our leaders do more damage than our enemies, it's high time we start calling them TERRORISTS as well. At least it would be accurate–unlike their labeling our veterans TERRORISTS.

    If the most salient feature of a terrorist is his ability to terrify, there's nothing to even discuss. I'm a lot more afraid of our leaders than our enemies. At least with enemies, I know what to expect, and the Army would give me a medal for shooting him.

    What do you do when your country's leaders are doing more damage than the enemy?

    October 6, 2013 at 6:30 am | Reply
  7. homer234

    It's comforting to know that the HoR is going to Okay for us furloughed civil servants to receive back pay whenever this Shutdown ends....meanwhile we've already filed for unemployment benefits..but may now be in jeopardy since our illustrious hero Mr DoD himself has decided to 'let us' go back to work without any money in the 'here and now' to pay our bills, rents/mortgages, etc...so now we will be disqualified for Ui benefits because we have our jobs 'back, albeit unpaid slavery. Nice way to treat your employees. Just 'starting' to feel a recovery of a sort from the recent Sequestration, and our illustrious leaders in DC refuse to do their damn jobs...but, hey why not pay them ... They're incompetent....I thought our Founding Fathers left England to escape the controlling powers of the Royalty. I can see Revolutionary War #2 heating up....

    October 6, 2013 at 2:35 am | Reply
  8. Allen

    I truly admire the gesture this individual has displayed. This individual doesn't make as much money as any members of congress or any CEO's of a major company but yet he is willing to give up what little he has. Unfortunately, his money will only go to the pockets of those who are greedy. His good gesture will only be the source of ire from the left. This is how our country/culture has become. Punish those who do good and reward those who are evil. His commander is already probably looking at ways to punish him. Maybe charge him Article 92 of the UCMJ for failure to obey orders or something to that nature.

    October 6, 2013 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • tahoemiss

      sadly your probabbly cloer to the truth than you want to be. a congressman would never think of anything like this and that is absolute fact..... you make us proud airman

      October 6, 2013 at 12:23 am | Reply
  9. Salty Bob

    This man is the true embodiment of an American Hero nothing more needs to be said. But THANK YOU.

    October 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  10. brown

    Our Congressional Representatives had better start looking for new jobs!

    October 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  11. midgick

    This is what really angers me. A Soldier. A normal everyday American doing the right thing. Then you have the stupid moronic selfserving jerks in Congress that only care about their fat asses and the perks they receive.
    Take away their saleries, med insurance, pensions and make them live on food stamps like millions of Americans are forced to do.
    Here's a novel approach. All menmbers of Congress work as unpaid advisors. When they leave office, they can't take any job as consultants for 10 years.
    It's a priviledge to serve America, not a God given right. Then let's see how fast the'll work together to make us a better place tolive in.
    I realize this is "Fantasy Island" and will never happen. But, would'nt this be grand???

    October 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  12. Clarke

    His heart is in the right place and it is very noble of him. He is trying to make a very good point, but this GOP congress doesn't understand the needs of others. This shut down is a disgrace, plain and simple. Just go vote for once with no strings attached to the goodies you receive from special interest.

    October 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  13. GOD Gathering of Dumb

    Another brainwashed fool......

    October 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • opus512

      Why the hate?

      October 6, 2013 at 3:55 am | Reply
  14. will

    Im military I think this kid is crazy. Give back your paycheck for what. The govt aint doing us no favors!! Patriotism only goes so far kid. You gotta pay rent. Dont get some delusion that this congress appreciates your sacrifice. they would never even think of letting their own sons put on the uniform!!!!

    October 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • brown

      Exactly.

      October 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • midgick

      Not sure of what your faith is, but in the Judeo/Christian beliefs, the poor and unde rpriviledge are to be helped and cared for.
      Where's your Damn Humaity??

      October 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Reply
      • midgick

        Sorry, my spelling is off.

        October 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • skhoule

      I agree. I do not believe that those in the military make enough to live off of or even make ends meet, especially those with a family. Those in the military are required to do their jobs either way and deserve to be paid for it. He sounds like a young man who has not be disillusioned yet but it will come. If you want to donate to a better cause go for it but never do it in a way that could harm you.

      October 9, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
  15. andi lee

    Obamacare is the malfunction here, and trying to tie it to the sequestion should be illegal. Oh wait! It is illegal! Obamacare came out of the senate. Only the house can make laws. The supreme court ruled it could only be legal if obamacare was a tax law. They are trying to mandate another tax on us. Meanwhile, WE gave 3.9 billion the last three years alone, to Afghanis an, for FREE healthcare. $60 million is unaccounted for. That is just one country on the taxpayers back. Call me cynical here but this airman giving up a paycheck for 50 grand sounds like a politician in the making. Not so honorable in that kind of light. My father was a military lifer, and the hardship was immense, especially, financial. The military men today are far, and few, of yesterdays military men and code of honor.

    October 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • kyle s

      Wow you do realize that the house passed it first in 2009 and then the senate passed it with amendments and then the house passed that as well before the potus signed it right? Unless you are one of the conspiracy theorists that say that didn't happen?

      October 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Reply
      • jdrind

        Not true. Reid took hr 3590 the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009 which was passed by the house and added the entire ACA into it, used the super majority and sent it back to the house. the house was working on another health care act.

        October 6, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • opus512

      I was going to bother explaining why you're an idiot, but then I decided you were too stupid to understand anyway.

      October 6, 2013 at 3:56 am | Reply
  16. ArmyWife

    While I think his action came from the heart, I hardly believe that the military members receiving pay is "special treatment". While I know it is hard for those who have been furloughed at least they do not work for no pay. Active duty military members would be required to show up at work every day – paid or not. If Congress hadn't allowed for the military to be paid during the shutdown my husband and I would live off my small income, things would be very tight, and we would probably only make it because we have money in savings. But I know many of his soldiers live pay check to pay check and their spouses don't work – they wouldn't survive without their paycheck.
    Of course the military should still get paid. Can you imagine telling all of the troops we still have deployed around the world they won't be getting their paycheck? Even those NOT deployed have offered up their service to be sent at a moments notice; and having grown up in a military family and now as a military spouse I KNOW that has effects back on the family members. And even more, while my husband is still receiving his pay check, we have definitely still felt the effects of the shutdown in other ways.

    October 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Marine Civilian--former active duty Marine

      Excepted Civilians were expected to work without pay, at least until Thursday at about 1900 (7 pm), when DFAS informed everyone that civilians who worked were to put their time in as regular, rather than furloughed.

      The kid is right. The military do get special treatment.

      October 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Reply
      • Military wife

        Hey Mr.X. So share to the public what special treatment we get. Renters charge us double because we are military because they want our bah. At funerals we get a cheering group that are glad our military family member has died. Our car gets keyed the day i put an army wife plate on the car. So please share how we get special treatment. We were also told we may not get paid on the 15th but my husband still has to show up and work a full day. You are both wrong

        October 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • justathought

      Actually, there are approximately 400,000 federal employees working for free right now. Even thought they have been allowed to come back to work, they HAVE NOT been guaranteed their salaries.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:04 am | Reply
  17. military wife

    I can't believe you are giving people the suggestion that somehow we get special treatment. Sacrifice isn't only about you the soldier we spouses give up Everything to support not only our country but the man we love. We leave our homes and communities where people know us to live in small towns where there are no jobs. Our rent gets doubled because we are military and the community treats you like an invader. So how dare you suggest we get special treatment. We have gone from being a two paycheck home to now relying on his check. You must not have a wife or children or you live in luxury. Most military families live off one check. Yes we deserve our checks if it comes. If Congress wasn't paid there would be less time for turning the issues into personal attacks. It's sounding more like a nursing home fight to me. Military families ARE suffering from the actions of Congress.

    October 5, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
  18. 2Cents

    fu. ck cnn and their censorship

    October 5, 2013 at 8:09 am | Reply
  19. US_MSGT

    Not appropriate at this time when the Combined Federal Campaign is in full effect. Not to mention if you are not providing any specific information as to how much % the money is actually going to charity it is hard to trust a donation site where anyone can create a reason to donate money.

    I already contribute to the CFC every year and I decide who gets my money based on the charity I choose and the % actually going to the charity rather than the % retained for "operational costs".

    October 5, 2013 at 5:24 am | Reply
  20. Gen Knoxx

    There's a place to donate where funds will be used to help Feds in hardship situations. They are low on funds because of the sequester. The organization is FEEA dot org. They are also part of the CFC for future reference.

    October 5, 2013 at 5:06 am | Reply
  21. ShiverMeTimbers

    Don't give back your paychecks, our corrupt politicians will just give it to Apartheid Israel.

    October 5, 2013 at 12:33 am | Reply
  22. ShiverMeTimbers

    America's real enemy is Israel.

    October 5, 2013 at 12:30 am | Reply
    • brown

      True

      October 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  23. AF VM MSgt

    Commendable efforts by this young man, however it's not practicle for most. Regardless of political stance, who you voted for, our government has placed almost everyone in a vulnerable position. I really hope they all go home and sleep well at night...leeches.

    October 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Better yet! Remember these days come next election day. Regardless of your political stance, get these "do nothing" people out of office! Just be careful who you vote for to replace them! Today, these problems stem from the idiots Sarah Palin worked hard to get elected! Where is Sarah now? For that matter, where is GWB and Dick Cheney today? All 3 relaxing and enjoying "the good life" paid for by you and me! Colin Powell, a highly respectable military man, learned his lesson, our politics is dangerously corrupt! Our government should not be about politics, it should be about serving "the people" (I mean the people of the USA, not some little belligerent country next to Egypt who all our politicians are madly in love with).
      Keep your money, son! Don't waste it by trying to accomplish what our corrupt politicians can't get done!

      October 5, 2013 at 8:01 am | Reply
      • John in Colorado

        One man; just one man stands in the way of reopening the government; the Speaker of the House; John Boehner. Were he to allow a vote on a clean Continuing Resolution (maintaining current funding levels); there is no doubt it would pass the House.

        October 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  24. d paul

    Okay...he mentions that congress funded the military but not some 400,000 civilians. However, if you read HR 3210, the bill signed by President Obama on Monday night did not just fund the military; it funded civilians and contractors in direct support of the military. Although the president signed the bill into law, it appears in an attempt to make it hurt he has directed the DoD to furlough 468,000 civilian personnel. Congress has sent a letter to Chuck Hagel telling him to end the Furlough because HR3210 is a CRA that funds the DoD through Jan 1, 2015. There is no reason other than politics that these people are furloughed.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • Jim Brown

      From multiple sources, I have heard this is true, Paul. The President is clearly playing politics instead of being a leader. It's very hurtful to me that the Affordable Care Act violates our freedoms as U.S. citizens, but the fact that the President is playing these games is just a pure kick in the balls.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Reply
    • jrsgta

      you cant let the government pick winners and losers.....

      October 5, 2013 at 12:28 am | Reply
  25. Jim Brown

    Leave it to CNN, to post a story like this. I've got some magic beans to sell if ya'll want to grow some beanstalks.

    October 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  26. JMH

    I am a proud Air Force officer, and have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think this charity is very commendable. I have been dismayed for years at how the military gets a pass when it comes to government spending, but the taxpayers who actually support the military are often forced to feel the effects of government cutbacks. Congress and the military get paid and get free healthcare throughout this whole shutdown, while the taxpayers paying the bill are left in the cold. It isn't right. If the military was not payed through this shutdown, it would be over very quickly.

    October 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Reply
    • AH

      I see what you are saying and, in many ways, agree. However, I would remind you that your pay is slightly higher than a private who is trying to support a family on one paycheck.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • MED

      you sir should then donate all future paychecks until this is over...Thanks in advance for your courageous stance!

      October 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • ViVeriVeniversumVivusVici

      Thank you for your donation, Sir. You are going to donate your paycheck right? Or are you just being a typical officer doing all the fancy talk? Awesome feedback though, Sir. Now if you could just visit http://www.keepmypaycheck.org/ and click donate my paycheck that would be great.

      October 7, 2013 at 12:51 am | Reply
  27. My name is Rubio and I am a fat head

    A true American Patriot!

    October 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • ShiverMeTimbers

      Who is the true American Hero? The fat head? :-)

      October 5, 2013 at 12:56 am | Reply
  28. GI Jo

    Thanks for posting my comment!

    October 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • GI Jo

      My prior comment was...Thanks to the Republicans and Boehner.

      October 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  29. R.M.

    :)

    October 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  30. Mcgee

    I think what he is proposing is commendable, and I am grateful some people are willing to do this. I support all military and understand that their pay will continue during furlough. They protect our country!! They are essential!! Essential workers are required to show up to work but are still furloughed. Do you know who else is considered essential that is protecting this county but unlike military personnel, they will NOT be paid? The Customs and Border Patrol officers. While still required to show up for work or be considered AWOL, they are still out there protecting the nations borders. So thanks to the generous Airman, your proposal is amazing.

    October 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • August

      BTW: Not all military personnel are getting paid. Do you know how many active duty National Guard members are furloughed? Most of them.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Reply
      • Myself

        Active Guard Reserve, AGR. Yes, everyone is getting paid !

        October 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  31. donald

    the airman is a fool.

    October 4, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  32. Random

    Hat is off to you sir. But I really wish you were not in this position to begin with. As much as I respect you for it, I despise congress. It is those jerks who should be going with out pay first. Republicans will be paying for this for decades.

    October 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Reply
    • Radgast

      Sad it has come to this, Congress should be the ones donating their pay if anyone

      October 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • ShiverMeTimbers

      We did not get to this point just because of the GOP. The Democrats are just as corrupt. FREE PALESTINE!

      October 5, 2013 at 12:35 am | Reply
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    October 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply

    October 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Attention CNN censors! Why don't you block this kind of crap?
      Is it simply because "Israel" doesn't appear anywhere?
      This kind of garbage degrades your website.

      October 5, 2013 at 7:26 am | Reply
      • military mom x2

        agreed!!

        October 5, 2013 at 10:09 am |
  34. Essayons12

    Good deed indeed!!! but.....im sorry buddy but most of us have families.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • usn-ret

      And just who said he was your buddy, " Buddy " !

      October 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  35. Doug in NYC

    Sir, what you have done is very admirable however, you earned that paycheck and sacrificed for it. You more then deserve it and much more.

    As an American, I ask that you and your fellow military service members not give up your hard earned pay!

    October 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • ShiverMeTimbers

      Don't give up your paychecks, they will simply give it to Israel.

      October 5, 2013 at 12:55 am | Reply
  36. RQ

    End Republican Terrorism!!

    October 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  37. LMB

    We are an Air Force family, and we are so proud of this Airman. This is what the military and Air Force is all about. God bless you and your efforts, and I believe you will exceed your goal of $50,000.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  38. k9mpssg

    Military members learn -never anyone behind. Apply this principal to everything we do. No one gets left behind. GOP thought they could outmanuver and fund the government in piecemeal. NOPE! This service member isn't falling for it! He/she recognizes that one group is not more important than another group. FUND it all!!!! Stop holding these groups hostage. Send a clean CR.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • ssgt

      Its funny you say this, which means you really know no one that is in the military. If you would actually talk to anyone in the military for any length of time you would be surprised about what they think.

      October 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
      • U.S.M.C. 1371

        They don't have a clue

        October 5, 2013 at 3:15 am |
  39. Rob

    If more military men and women behaved like this we wouldnt get the rejects that urinate on bodies or disrespect the enemy and locals overseas. Honor is required in all parts of your life and everything you do, there is no holiday or break from it.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  40. military mom x2

    You are amazing and a hero...I am sure you need that money but to do something like that is what all americans who can should be doing for their fellow american...You have my ultimate respect!!!!

    October 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  41. James Elder

    Our service men deserve better that what ciongress is giving them and so does the rest of America!

    October 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply

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