Local senior citizens celebrate two special birthdays - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Local senior citizens celebrate two special birthdays

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

It's a party for two. One is turning 46 years old while the other's turning 76. No, it's not for anyone living at the Rose of Sharon Senior Home, but rather a celebration for Medicare and Social Security. But as these seniors enjoy great music and food they can't help but worry about what may happen to their benefits if a deal is not reached regarding the nation's debt ceiling.

"If we don't get our checks, seniors in this building will be basically in default because they have no other way to pay their rent," said Rose of Sharon resident Lonnie Alston.

Theresa Wiegand, another resident, said, "We'll have to eat less. We would go less places, which is very depressing for the seniors. It's very frightening because a lot of people have no place to go."

Alderman At-Large Jeff Felser was one the special guests at the birthday party. He told residents he understands first-hand what Medicare and social security mean to them.

"Before my mother passed away I know she was dependent upon her Social Security check. I know what it's like when they have to call the bank to see if it's been deposited on the third of the month," Felser said.

Seniors aren't the only group that could be affected. Soldiers and veterans are also concerned about receiving payments on time.

"Those soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have been there for almost 10 years. There have been back-to-back-to-back deployments. It's going to really hurt the morale. We have to fix this pay crisis," said retired U.S. Army LTC Bill Gillespie.

While celebrating the many years of Medicare and social security a lot of the seniors remain optimistic a deal will be reached.

Copyright 2011 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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