For many, the government shutdown is political theater but for Gregory Pluhar and his wife Jacqueline Satterfield - it is the loss of their family income. Both work as federal employees at Fort Drum, both were deemed non-essential and now both are without a paycheck.
"It's discouraging, it's demoralizing - you feel quite devalued," said Satterfield.
"We're trying, cutting corners where we can, not buying things we normally buy," said Pluhar.
The couple joined other union members with the American Federation of Government Employees in Watertown's Public Square today reminding people driving by that the political fight over government sponsored health care also affects their friends and neighbors
"We as federal employees are just a line item in the budget and easy to consider us erasable on a human blotter which in my opinion is unconscionable and wrong," said EFGE Local 400 Vice President Loren Zeilnhofer
Many federal employees at Fort Drum were already furloughed for a week this summer as part of federal sequestration.
"Coming off the seven, that was really tough this summer because we still have bills to pay, nobody is holding off. No mortgage companies are saying don't worry about your mortgage, don't worry about your car payment," said Fort Drum nurse Shelly Eggleston.