Continued shutdown may prevent bands, color guard from participating in Veterans Day events

Posted Oct. 11, 2013, at 5:58 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — If the federal government shutdown continues much longer, it could change plans for Veterans Day celebrations across the country.

“Our outreach engagements have been curtailed as a result of the government shutdown,” Maj. Michael Steinbuchel, spokesman for the Maine National Guard, said Friday.

Those outreach services include appearances by military bands and color guards at sporting events, speaking engagements and parades. The government shutdown brought an end to those events, and the Guard has postponed engagements because it doesn’t have travel funding available during the shutdown.

With Veterans Day a month away, on Nov. 11, the Guard will reach a point when it will need to call off those events. For now, it is holding its engagement dates in case the shutdown ends, Steinbuchel said.

The shutdown is not having any effect on the Maine Military Funeral Honors program, which is considered an essential program by the federal government.

Having to bow out of community events has been difficult because “the National Guard, by its nature, is very community-oriented,” Steinbuchel said.

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