By Oriana Pawlyk, Air Force Times
An Air Force technical sergeant is urging troops to donate some of their shutdown pay to the less fortunate.
The airman, who asked to remain anonymous, set up a CrowdRise website, www.keepmypaycheck.org, where he urges service members - and others - to donate part of their paychecks to Feeding America, a charity that says it feeds more than 37 million low-income Americans every year.
The airman is frustrated that Congress acted to pay military members during the government shutdown while increasing financial hardships for other Americans.
"Service members fight to protect and promote a more perfect union; this isn't it," the airman said of the shutdown. "And until Congress restores funding, we will step in and donate our paychecks along with our lives to protect the country we love."
Feeding America "struck a chord'' with the website founder, said an Air Force reservist who donated and also asked to remain anonymous. "A good number of programs shut down, programs that people all over the country need just to live - Feeding America is a good program, and a good place to target donations."
The reservist said Congress' action to sustain military pay during the shutdown may feel like a "slap in the face" to everyone else.
"It's a really wonderful feeling to have such support as a military person. ... There's always discounts for us, always people wanting to reach out and support, and that's very appreciated," he said. "But it sticks us up on a pedestal - Congress could come together for us, but not for anyone else?"
As of Friday, the site had raised $1,275 and aims to pledge $50,000.