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Veterans Fear Losing Benefits If Debt Crisis Isn't Resolved

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Veterans fear losing critical social security, education and health care benefits if debt ceiling crisis isn't resolved. | AP

Though President Obama met with veterans on Tuesday to discuss the fate of their benefits, they didn’t walk away with any clear answers, ABC reports.

After President Obama forewarned the nation in a prime time address on Monday that veterans’ checks could be jeopardized if the debt ceiling crisis isn’t resolved, he met with a group of Afghanistan and Iraq servicemen the following day, according to Fox News. While veterans hoped to gain insight into what will happen to their GI checks, disability checks, healthcare and education services, White House officials didn’t offer explicit details, reported.

“Right now, our nation teeters on the edge of default and servicemembers and veterans are left concerned and a bit scared,” Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America told ABC news. “They don't know if disability checks are coming.  They don't know if paychecks are coming. They don't know if GI checks are coming and they're extremely concerned.  They're scared.”

A slew of senators have joined in on the conversation to impress the need to protect veterans.

“We must provide the funding needed to support this generation of wounded warriors and continue caring for those who have previously borne the visible and hidden scars of war,” ABC quoted Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass).

In addition to protesting to the president, Disabled American Veterans took their cause to Facebook on Wednesday to share their concerns. More than 17,000 people signed up for the Virtual March on Washington to Protect Veterans’ Compensation and Benefits.

Though the president was stern in his warning on Monday that the country may not be able to pay
“bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans' benefits, and the government contracts we've signed with thousands of businesses," his press secretary tried to assuage the veterans’ worries on Tuesday, Fox News noted. 

"I think the reality is clear -- the 80 million checks that have to be issued, the fact that we need to borrow in order to pay our bills," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told Fox News. "We'll see how this process goes forward. Again, we just don't anticipate, and certainly hope that that will not happen."

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Vets worried about default's effect on benefits