By Jim Smith

BOSTON (CBS) – The government shutdown may prevent thousands of American soldiers overseas from watching the AFC and NFC Championship games on Sunday.

The AFN, or American Forces Network, posted a message on its TV network saying it was going dark due to the shutdown.

iraq Armed Forces Network Wont Show NFL Playoffs Due To Government Shutdown

A U.S. soldier guards a church in the northern city of Kirkuk, Iraq. (Photo credit MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP/Getty Images)

That’s really bad timing for soldiers, according to Wilmington veterans agent Lou Cimaglia.

Cimaglia served in Desert Storm back in 1991 and remembers how crucial it was to be able to enjoy a big football game while far away from home.

“And if you get down time, and you get to watch a live event such as an NFC, AFC playoff game, it’s huge,” he said. “It may be two or three in the morning their time. I remember watching the Super Bowl in 1991 when I was over in Kuwait. So yeah, it’s huge.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted that the NFL “is working on alternatives for service members, in the event Armed Forces Network is not operational before the start of tomorrow’s championship games.”

Cimaglia is hoping something can be done to get those games to the troops, giving them a taste of home.

“Getting all their news, information and everything on one network if you will. If that goes down, it could, it would seriously affect morale,” he said.


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