JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ark. (CIRCA VIA KATV) -- The longest government shutdown in U.S. history has partially shutdown one southern Arkansas family's way of life.
Gene Hampton, who lives 13 miles outside Pine Bluff, is a father, husband and a federal corrections officer in Yazoo City, Miss. He's only been on the job since October.
"I drive 2.5 hours to work one way every day and it's taken a toll on my body. It's taken a toll on my family," Hampton said.
The lengthy commute these days is one Hampton takes advantage of to focus on the job he loves, but it's difficult at times -- knowing the consequences of the shutdown.
Federal corrections officers are deemed essential employees, meaning they are required to work even in the event of a government shutdown.
Hampton doesn't blame his agency. He admits he's not the most informed about politics, but nonetheless, he's hoping for a quick resolution for his family's sake and the well-being of other fellow federal workers.
"I just want them to come to some kind of agreement that, you know, if they don't come to an agreement, at least allow us to get paid. We're protecting society. We're keeping those criminals behind the wall. At least allow us to get paid," he said.
They're financial wounds that have extended into leisure outings and the basics of living.
"I did go some days without electricity," Hampton said.
He's also facing the possibility of losing his car.
"They just told me, 'Hey, if you don't pay up, you're going to lose your vehicle," Hampton said.
But Hampton isn't allowing the indecisiveness in Washington disrupt any plans to make his daughter smile.
"I don't want to see my daughter down because of daddy working and not getting paid. She asked me a couple days ago, 'Daddy, you gonna take me here?' I was able to do that because I knew that was something she looked forward for me to take her to go play at a bouncy house."
Hampton hasn't ruled out leaving the federal employment field and going back to working for the state or another line of work completely.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help out the Hampton family.
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