PORTLAND – Veterans are starting to see the effects of the government shutdown, and it's not only the families of fallen troops.
One Beaverton veteran, 30-year-old Joe Smith said his G.I. Bill benefits have been delayed.
Smith said he was an E4 senior airman in the U.S. Air Force, but now that he's out of the service he wants to go to college.
And the G.I. Bill was supposed to make that possible. He enrolled for the fall 2013 term at Portland Community College and was told the tuition money would be available on October 1.
Now because of the shutdown, it might not even be there by November 1.
“What if I didn't have legs? What if I didn't have arms? What if I was in a wheelchair? What if I did have a wife and kids?” Smith asked. “Then what? ‘Sorry?’ That doesn't cut it."
Nationally the delay affects more than 5 million vets and their families. And the backlogged money amounts to $625 million.