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Overseas Troops Now Ready For Some Football - Sports Once Again Broadcast On AFN

Photo credit: U.S. Army

U.S. troops watch the Super Bowl in Afghanistan in 2009.

Service members and their families stationed overseas will be able to enjoy Monday Night Football, and all of the sports programming they've become accustom to. That's because the American Forces Network has started broadcasting again on its sports channel. That channel, and others featuring movies and television, were taken off the air last week because of the government shutdown.

However, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced over the weekend that he's sending many Department of Defense employees furloughed because of the shutdown back to work, using the newly enacted Pay Our Military law as a guideline:

"DoD and DOJ attorneys concluded that the law does allow the Department of Defense to eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members."

The Department of Defense considered employees of AFN to fit into that category, and so they're back to work this week. And the channels taken off the air because of the employee shortage (created by the furloughs) will soon be up and runnning.

Navy Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Harrington, an AFN spokesman, explained in an email to Stars and Stripes that it might take a few days to get the network's full channel line up back on the air:

“We know many of you follow popular shows, and we will work to address airing the episodes you’ve missed. Thank you for your patience and understanding — we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to return to bringing you the most popular Stateside programming.”

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