Furloughed civilians come back to work aboard local bases

Furloughed civilians come back to work aboard local bases

CAMP LEJEUNE, ONSLOW COUNTY - The commissary aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point resumed normal operations Tuesday. The commissaries aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River reopened Monday.

That's great news for those like Mimi Reinig, a civilian who works at the Camp Lejeune commissary and was furloughed last week.

"You see people's faces, and they say, 'I need this,' and you're willing to help, and you see people happy because they find what they want," Reinig said.

The commissaries, or grocery stores, had closed due to the government shutdown.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Saturday that he would bring back to work most civilian Department of Defense employees, beginning this week.

The decision by Hagel is based on a Pentagon legal interpretation of a law called the Pay Our Military Act.

Hagel says civilians whose jobs contribute to the well-being, morale and readiness of service members will be allowed back on the job and will be paid for the time they work. But what's up in the air is if they'll be compensated for the time they were furloughed.

Camp Lejeune officials say about 99 percent of its furloughed civilians are back to work this week.

"This is for me -- seeing the people's faces when they find their products," Reinig said with a huge appreciation for her job. "That's what makes this so different kind of job."

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