OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) - Just a few good golf shots away from the Oak Island Golf Club is Coast Guard Station Oak Island, home to 41 active Coast Guard members.
Due to the ongoing partial government shutdown, active duty service members did not receive their paychecks on Tuesday, the first time in history the US Armed Forces were not paid during a lapse in government funding. The Coast Guard is the only branch of the US military affected by the shutdown since it is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
“It’s been a very stressful, very confusing time, just a lot of uncertainty,” said Mary Chapek, a veteran of the Coast Guard and also a wife to a current guardsman stationed at Oak Island.
That stress prompted Steve Isley, general manager of the Oak Island Golf Club, to take notice.
“We know they still have bills. They still need gas to get to work,” said Isley. “We still have to rely on them to do the things we need them to do. We are a large fishing town and we depend on them to be on the ocean to make sure we are safe on the water.”
Isley said local Coast Guard workers and their families are all close, often playing golf at OIGC and eating in the course restaurant.
That’s why he wants to give back to the families facing a financial burden.
“They have been so good to us through any storm, and just on a daily basis,” Isley said.
In conjunction with the Caswell Beach Police Department located across the street from the course, items are being collected for family members going without a paycheck, and no timetable for when the next payday will come.
“It’s really nice to know in a small community like this that they are seeing that we are here and it’s heartwarming to be acknowledged and get the support,” said Coast Guard wife Katherine York.
Items needed include non-perishable foods, baby needs (formula, diapers, etc.), toiletries, laundry, detergent, gas cards and grocery gift cards. Drop off donations at Oak Island Golf Club from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.