CRESTVIEW On Oct. 2, former Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce board member Katie Sharon gave her husband, J.D., a "honey-do" list of household chores. However, J.D. would much rather put his recently earned electrical engineering degree to use at his new Palace Acquire, or PAQ, program job at Eglin Air Force Base.


CRESTVIEW On Oct. 2, former Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce board member Katie Sharon gave her husband, J.D., a "honey-do" list of household chores.



However, J.D. would much rather put his recently earned electrical engineering degree to use at his new Palace Acquire, or PAQ, program job at Eglin Air Force Base.



The program fast-tracks recent college graduates into engineering careers in the Defense Department, and will cover J.D.'s master's degree studies.



But due to the federal government shutdown, J.D., as one of PAQ's newest engineers, was also one of the first to be furloughed. He now wonders if he should have left his previous job with Microsystems.



"I left a good job to take this job," J.D. Sharon said. "It was a very enticing position to get. It sounded very, very good, until you come up against the budget shutdown."



Katie's job as a vice president at Coastal Bank will cover the family's financial needs until J.D. is called back to work, the Sharons said.



"But there are lots of single-parent families affected by this (shutdown) that don't have that extra income," J.D. said.



The couple's babysitter, who tends their children, Emily, 2, and Davis, 10 months, said her husband was also furloughed. She can't explain to a creditor that the family's main wage earner is temporarily receiving no income.



"She told me, 'If only they could just furlough my mortgage,'" Katie said.



Far-reaching effects



"You may have shut down the government, but that doesn't stop the electricity bill, the mortgage or the cost of groceries from continuing to rack up," Katie stated in a letter to U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Chumuckla.



Civilian workers, such as J.D., and military contractor employees aren't the only people affected by the shutdown.



Thursday, Katie's parents were supposed to close on the sale of their Crestview house, but because the buyers have a government-backed loan, the sale was called off.



"It trickles down," Katie said. "Do I not send the kids to the babysitter? Do I cancel the housekeeper?"



And, she wrote to Miller, the shutdown has forced her to examine her personal political beliefs.



"We have always been Republicans," Katie wrote. "We come from a long line of Republican families, but the tact our party has taken on this issue is irresponsible and its impact is farther reaching than, I'm afraid, anyone has considered."



Meanwhile, J.D. stays near his phone while tackling Katie's honey-do list.



"Until I get called back in (to work), I sit by the phone and hope I get that call," he said.



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.