Local News

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren While Parents Serve

Posted November 22, 2007

— In some military families, both parents are deployed at the same time. It causes challenges for child care and often times families are forced to come up with creative solutions.

“They made a huge sacrifice. They left two babies to do what the country asked them to do,” Donna Ferguson said.

Ferguson's 18-month-old granddaughter has become her responsibility for the next year and a half. The toddler's mom and dad are Fort Bragg soldiers – deployed in Iraq. They called upon Donna and grandfather Ron to take care of daughter Catie – while other relatives care for her baby sister Brianna.

The Fergusons volunteered because they know their daughter and son-in-law have volunteered as well.

“A lot of other young people can be at home with their family at Thanksgiving because there is a volunteer force in place,” Ron Ferguson said.

Fort Bragg was unable to tell WRAL just how many married couples are deployed at the same time, but they did say it was not unusual.

“We all want the same thing for the babies and that's the most important thing,” Donna Ferguson said.

The Ferguson family said they keep in touch through a lot of phone calls and the Internet.


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  • randdferguson Nov 24, 2007

    What gives anyone here the impression that Caitlyn and her grandparents are using the welfare system? As her grandmother I will state that there is nothing about Government Money for US related to this. As for when people have children that's a personal choice. Good choices aren't always made but I resent anyone attacking my child or grandchild. We appreciate the comments and wish everyone Peace.

    Ron, Donna and Caitlyn

  • wcnc Nov 23, 2007

    Now, as far as Army policies needing to change so that both parents aren't deployed at the same time....I don't agree with that. I do think that if both spouses are in the military, they might want to think twice about having children right then. But if they do have children, they need to expect to be deployed. How can the Army make policies that will be best for the family, when they should be making policies that are best for the military?? If having children becomes an "excuse" for one parent not being deployed, I could see that being taken advantage of...then the next people will say my spouse has cancer I can't be deployed, then it will be my child has ADD I can't be deployed, then it will go on and on......

    It's not like you don't know when you sign up that this could happen....I don't think these parents thought one would get to stay home instead of being deployed- that's why they had family to cover while they were away!

  • wcnc Nov 23, 2007

    I read this and thought that it was great that these parents have family members who are so willing to help, while those parents are willing to fulfill the responsiblities of the jobs they signed up for. It doesn't show in this story that the parents or the grandparents are complaining about the situation. I'm glad they are willing to serve and I'm glad there are loving family members to care for their children. I pray both parents return home soon!

  • casp3r Nov 23, 2007

    Wonder= of course raising a child lol. Well I had fun and thanks for the debate. I am sorry if I offended you in any way.

  • Bing Used Nov 23, 2007

    volunteering to raise someone else's child?

    I have taken care of other's children when they wouldn't. Just weeks at the time though.

    If there is a child in need, and I felt I could take care of it, yes I would.

  • casp3r Nov 23, 2007

    Are you volunteering? lol

  • Bing Used Nov 23, 2007

    yeah, i tell my sons they can't have sex till after they are married, and wait about 5 years from there to have a child.

    I have told neices and nephews about having babies...but, just like everyone else, they don't listen.

    No one wants to think about birth control. Babies are fun. (yeah, especially if someone else is raising them and paying for them.)

  • casp3r Nov 23, 2007

    wonder= I'm just making sure you hold your family to the same accountability as you do one's you will never meet.

  • Bing Used Nov 23, 2007

    My nephew, along with a lot of other kids, from the beginning of time, do not believe anything will happen to them.

    If you can't date while in service, where are the babies coming from?

  • casp3r Nov 23, 2007

    wonder= I was just having alittle fun about your nephew, I was just kidding but if he did not realize we are in a war then something is wrong there.