Army vet opens up about unemployment and the looming cut off - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Army vet opens up about unemployment and the looming cut off

CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB)  --  Joey Vaughn is an Army veteran with two kids and little hope for the future. He's also unemployed.

"It's pretty terrifying. I got the letter about two, three days ago stating that January 1, will be my last day," says Vaughn. "I went from making 60, 70 thousand a year in the Army to $250 a week."

Right now, he receives $140 a week in unemployment. Every penny is used to support his two kids.

"Not only did I sacrifice, but my family has sacrificed, just as much if not more than me," says Vaughn.

He's worked a couple part time jobs since graduating college, but recently had his car repossessed.

Right now, he stays with family.

"If it wasn't for my mother-in-law we would definitely, probably be in a shelter or on the streets," says Vaughn.

However, Vaughn says he's just one in a growing group across the nation, veterans who come home to nothing.

"I know a couple of my friends that are going to come home, and they're going to be homeless and jobless," he says.  

If Congress does not extend federal unemployment benefits, Vaughn says, what little he has now will be lost.

"We left and I felt like someone, you know," says Vaughn. "And, I come home and I really feel like a nobody,"

State officials tell Channel 3 the last unemployment check will be received the first week of January. Then you would not be allowed to go beyond the state's program of 26 weeks.

For Vaughn, it's a countdown to disaster.

"There's some of us who really want to work and the jobs just aren't there," he says.

In Tennessee, 39,000 people will be affected when unemployment benefits run out, at the end of the year.

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