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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 15th, 2013
06:05 PM ET

Army vet says shutdown could leave military families 'out in the cold'

Just how badly could the partial government shutdown hurt military veterans if Democrats and Republicans are unable to broker a deal to re-open the government?

Nearly 800,000 disabled veterans and surviving military spouses might not be able to pay the bills for things like rent, medical costs, and school tuition, according to U.S. Department for Veterans' Affairs secretary Eric Shinseki.

Nedra Brantley, who served two tours in Iraq and now relies on disability checks to pay for hers and her son Caleb's expenses, told CNN's Jake Tapper that she believe Congress isn't doing its job, something she says is "unacceptable" to veterans.

"It's not just veterans that are hurting," Brantley said. "It's everyone that's hurting.

But veterans could be hit especially hard if the government doesn't open its doors again soon. Brantley said if her disability check – one of the 5.1 million scheduled to go out to former service members on November 1 – doesn't get cut, she could literally be "out in the cold."

Asked by Tapper what would happen if her check doesn't arrive on schedule, Brantley replied, "We pray, and pray hard."

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